Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Circular Periodic Table–Pleasant surprise

Recently, I was searching about the articles that got published about the circular periodic table and pleasantly surprized to find hundreds of articles about it over internet. I had designed the circular periodic table during my 10th standard in 2001. Back then, I didn’t have much idea about scientific publishing. Few years later, I put it on Wikipedia. was one of the first websites that gave credit to it.

As years passed by, I felt that I should formally publish about it. So, finally in 2009, I posted a draft paper about it on ArXiv. But to my surprise, MIT’s online magazine Technology Review broke the story about my paper, giving it a larger visibility. Subsequently, the story got covered by Slashdot, Gizmodo, PhysicsWorld, Discovery, etc.  One criticism is about orientation of the chemical symbols in the tables. Well, orientation can be changed easily and one needs not rotate the screen. 


But the most surprising of all was, one of the school teacher had included a quick word about circular periodic table in an exam paper. I thought of sharing that portion of exam paper with you all. Though there is nothing special about it…but somehow, it gave me immense pleasure.


Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.

Many people recognize the modern periodic table of chemical elements. It was first published by Dmitri Mendeleev, a Russian scientist. Mendeleev’s version of the table organized the elements and left gaps for yet-to-be-discovered elements. Mendeleev first placed the elements in order from left to right based on increasing atomic mass. Then, he studied the properties of each element and noticed that the properties formed a pattern. When an element showed a repeating property, Mendeleev started a new row.

Today, the basic block-like shape of the periodic table is well-known. However, there are usable, academic versions of the table that look quite different. Timmothy Stowe created a periodic table for physicists. This table is three-dimensional and has three axes.

Paul Giguere also created a three-dimensional periodic table that looks like billboards with elements on the front and back. Theodor Benfey’s periodic table is shaped like a spiral with two arms. There is even a circular periodic table, created by Mohd Abubakr, that may actually improve on the current version.

In the space provided, write the letter of the term or phrase that best completes each statement or best answers each question.

_____ 39. Based on the information in the passage, who created the original version of the modern periodic table?

A Abubakr C Giguere

B Benfey D Mendeleev

_____ 40. Which is the purpose of the first paragraph?

A to introduce the periodic table

B to establish Mendeleev as a scientist

C to explain how the periodic table should be organized

D to show why other forms of the periodic table are wrong

_____ 41. The word academic in this passage means having to do with

A chemistry. C education.

B ease of use. D mass.

_____ 42. The purpose of this article is to convince readers that

A Mendeleev created the only useful periodic table.

B chemical elements can be organized in more than one way.

C Mendeleev should not have left gaps in his version of the periodic table.

D a three-dimensional version of the periodic table is better than a two-dimensional version.

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