Thu June 05, 2008 By:

What is Mendeleev's Periodic Law?

Expert Reply
Tue June 10, 2008

Then in 1869, Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev (1834-1907) proposed arranging elements by atomic weights and properties (Lothar Meyer independently reached similar conclusion but published results after Mendeleev).  Mendeleev's periodic table of 1869 contained 17 columns with two partial periods of seven elements each (Li-F & Na-Cl) followed by two nearly complete periods (K-Br & Rb-I). In 1871 Mendeleev revised the 17-group table with eight columns (the eighth group consisted of transition elements). This table exhibited similarities not only in small units such as the triads, but showed similarities in an entire network of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal relationships. The table contained gaps but Mendeleev predicted the discovery of new elements

Soon after Rutherford's landmark experiment of discovering the proton in 1911, Henry Moseley (1887-1915) subjected known elements to x-rays. He was able to derive the relationship between x-ray frequency and number of protons. When Moseley arranged the elements according to increasing atomic numbers and not atomic masses, some of the inconsistencies associated with Mendeleev's table were eliminated. The modern periodic table is based on Moseley's Periodic Law (atomic numbers).

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