II.2 Visual Periodic Table of the Elements

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Murray Robertson

John Emsley

No chemistry textbook, classroom, auditorium, or research laboratory is complete without a copy of the periodic table of the elements. Since the earliest days of chemistry, attempts have been made to arrange the known elements in ways that revealed similarities between them. However, it required the genius of Mendeleev in 1869 to see that arranging elements into patterns was not enough; he realized that there was a natural plan in which each element has its allotted place. This applied not only to the known elements, but also left room for elements that were undiscovered at that time. More than 700 versions of the periodic table were produced in the century after Mendeleev. The table shown here was drawn by Murray Robertson based on scientific data provided by chemist John Emsley. In the interactive version available online, one may click on an element to provide chemical data and other relevant information. Learn more about the periodic table and its amazing elements by visiting http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table.


Scerri, Eric R. 2007. The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Robertson, Murray, and John Emsley. 2005. Visual Elements Periodic Table. Courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Images © Murray Robertson 1999-2006. In “2nd Iteration (2006): The Power of Reference Systems,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Deborah MacPherson. http://scimaps.org.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.