Achievements of Mendeléev’s Periodic Table
While developing the Periodic Table, there were a few instances where Mendeleev had to place an element with a slightly greater atomic mass before an element with a slightly lower atomic mass. The sequence was inverted so that elements with similar properties could be grouped together. For example, cobalt (atomic mass 58.9) appeared before nickel (atomic mass 58.7). Looking at Table 5.4, can you find out one more such anomaly?
Further, Mendeléev left some gaps in his Periodic Table. Instead of looking upon these gaps as defects, Mendeléev boldly predicted the existence of some elements that had not been discovered at that time. Mendeléev named them by prefixing a Sanskrit numeral, Eka (one) to the name of preceding element in the same group. For instance, scandium, gallium and germanium, discovered later, have properties similar to Eka–boron, Eka–aluminium and Eka–silicon, respectively. The properties of Eka–Aluminium predicted by Mendeléev and those of the element, gallium which was discovered later and replaced Ekaaluminium, are listed as follows (Table 5.5).
MENDELEEV’S PERIODIC TABLE
Even after the rejection of Newlands’ Law of Octaves, many scientists continued to search for a pattern that correlated the properties of elements with their atomic masses.
The main credit for classifying elements goes to Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeléev, a Russian chemist. He was the most important contributor to the early development of a Periodic Table of elements wherein the elements were arranged on the basis of their fundamental property, the atomic mass, and also on the similarity of chemical properties.
Dmitri lvanovich Mendeleev (1834-1907)
Dmitri lvanovich Mendeléev was born in Tobolsk in Western Siberia, Russia on 8 February 1834. After his early education, Mendeléev could join a university only due to the efforts of his mother. Dedicating his investigations to his mother he wrote, “She instructed with example, corrected with love and travelled with me to places spending her last resources and strength. She knew that with the aid of science without violence, with love but firmness, all superstitions, untruth and errors can be removed.” The arrangement of elements he proposed is called Mendeléev’s Periodic Table. The Periodic Table proved to be the unifying principle in chemistry. It was the motivation for the discovery of some new elements.