Famous Dreams
famous dreams Periodic Table Mendeleev
March 30, 2013

Mendeleev’s Periodic Table of Elements

In this part of Dream Social’s “Famous Dreams” series we are visiting a dream that gave mankind a major scientific stride in chemistry - the Periodic Table of Elements by Dmitri Mendeleev.

In this part of Dream Social’s “Famous Dreams” series, we are visiting a dream that gave mankind a major scientific stride in chemistry, the Periodic Table of Elements created by Dmitri Mendeleev.

Here is a dream that gave mankind a major scientific stride in chemistry – the Periodic Table of Elements literally dreamed up by Dmitri Mendeleev.

Problem

Since discovery of the first chemical element, copper, around 9000 BC in Anatolia, up until 1868 when 63 elements were discovered and documented, we lacked a way of classifying them.

Frustration

Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist who for years had been working to organize chemical elements in a meaningful way. He tried to categorize them based on their properties, but he found that it was no trivial matter, and caused him years of ongoing disappointment.

The Dream

On February 17, 1869, Mendeleev wrote all of the 63 known elements along with their atomic weight on blank cards and arranged them in various groups and orders, but none made sense to him. Frustrated, he fell asleep on his work desk.

“I saw in a dream, a table where all the elements fell into places as required. Immediately on awakening, I wrote it down on a piece of paper. Only in one place did a correction later seem necessary.”

The resulting table was so accurate that Mendeleev was confident that he had finally got it right. He not only configured the table correctly, he also realized that pieces were missing. The gaps in his table lead Mendeleev to correctly predict the existence of undiscovered elements.

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March 30, 2013