International Year of the Periodic Table

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Photos of the Month - May 2019

Audrey Lengel, Photo Archivist

2019 marks 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev first published a periodic table of chemical elements in 1869. The world is commemorating this accomplishment by declaring this the International Year of the Periodic Table. Whether you are interested in learning more about the history of the periodic table, reflecting on the past and present scientists who contribute to it, or looking towards the future at how it will grow as we recognize new elements, the periodic table is certainly something worth celebrating.

This month’s photos from our archives look at Mendeleev’s original table and shine light on a few scientists who contributed to our modern understanding of the elements by discovering new ones, well after Mendeleev published the first table.

P.S. – If crossword puzzles are more your style, I recommend Naomi Pasachoff’s puzzle full of periodic table clues, recently published by Physics Today.

Dmitri Mendeleev’s first sketch of a periodic table of the elements, 1869.

(Click to view full sketch)

Credit line: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Dmitri Mendeleev’s periodic table of the elements; as published in Principles of Chemistry, 1869.

Credit line: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Portrait of Dmitri Mendeleev, who published the first periodic table of the elements in 1869.

Credit line: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Marie Curie in her laboratory, circa 1913. She worked on radioactivity with her husband Pierre and Henri Becquerel and discovered the elements polonium (atomic number 84) and radium (atomic number 88) in 1898.

Credit line: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Ida Noddack, circa 1930. Noddack was a chemical engineer and discovered the element rhenium (atomic number 75) with her husband Walter and Otto Berg in 1925.

Credit line: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Gift of Jost Lemmerich

Marguerite Perey, circa 1962. She discovered francium (atomic number 87) in 1939 and named it after France, her home country.

Credit line: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Gift of J.D. Adloff