For specialists, representation is more versatile and less contradictory than the current arrangement of chemical elements.
There are several re-readings of the periodic table of chemical elements – and mathematicians at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, have created yet another.
According to them, their interpretation is more versatile and provides many different periodic systems, depending on the principle of order and classification, which is useful not only for Chemistry but also for other fields of knowledge.
The most famous organization of the chemical elements was created by the Russian Dmitri Mendeleev and by the Lothar Meyer in the 1860s. In it, the specialists created an arrangement of elements based on their masses and atomic similarities – today the substances are classified by their atomic number which indicates the number of protons in the atomic nucleus, from light hydrogen (a proton) to exotic oganesson (118 protons).
The elements are also classified into groups: atoms in the same column usually have the same number of electrons in their valence layer, for example. Also included is the atomic weight of the element, the atomic symbol and a color symbolizing which group has particular chemical and physical properties in common to which an element belongs.
However, experts do not agree with the positioning of various substances, such as lanthanum and actinium. That is why mathematicians focused on developing a more versatile representation of the elements, something that could be observed from various angles.
Each of the 94 circles with symbols of chemical elements represents the bond that the respective element forms with an organic residue. The connections are ordered according to the intensity with which they are polarized.
Where there is a direct-arrow connection, the order is clear: hydrogen bonds, for example, are more polarized than the bonds of boron, phosphorus, and palladium.
The same applies to rubidium compared to cesium, which has particularly low polarized bonds and therefore lies at the base of the new periodic table. If there is no straight arrow between two elements, they can still be comparable – if there is a chain of arrows between them. For example, oxygen bonds are more polarized than bromine bonds.
Connections represented by the same color have the same binding behavior and belong to one of the 44 classes.
As one of the members of the project, Guillermo Restrepo tells us, his re-reading is like a sculpture that, depending on where it is being illuminated, can obtain different shadows – all of which are correct. “The many shadows that the figure frames are the periodic tables.
That’s why there are many ways to create these tables. In a way, the period tables are projections. Projections of the internal structure of the periodic table as a kind of sculpture said the mathematician in a statement.
In order for an organization to be defined as a periodic table, it must be ordered, that is, the items must be cataloged, such as the elements; needs to be organized according to a particular property, such as atomic number or atomic mass; and must be grouped according to a criterion, as chemical similarity.
“We investigated almost 5,000 substances consisting of two elements in different proportions,” explains Guillermo Restrepo. “So we look for similarities in these data.
For example, sodium and lithium are similar because they combine with the same substances in equal proportions (e.g., with oxygen or chlorine, bromine, and iodine). We, therefore, find patterns that we can use to classify the elements.”