The periodic table of elements is among the most recognizable image in science. It lies at the core of chemistry and embodies the most fundamental principles of science. In this new edition, Eric Scerri offers readers a complete and updated history and philosophy of the periodic table. Written in a lively style to appeal to experts and interested lay-persons alike, The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance begins with an overview of the importance of the periodic table and the manner in which the term "element" has been interpreted by chemists and philosophers across time. The book traces the evolution and development of the periodic table from its early beginnings with the work of the precursors like De Chancourtois, Newlands and Meyer to Mendeleev's 1869 first published table and beyond. Several chapters are devoted to developments in 20th century physics, especially quantum mechanics and and the extent to which they explain the periodic table in a more fundamental way. Other chapters examine the formation of the elements, nuclear structure, the discovery of the last seven infra-uranium elements, and the synthesis of trans-uranium elements. Finally, the book considers the many different ways of representing the periodic system and the quest for an optimal arrangement.
Dr. Eric Scerri is a leading philosopher of science specializing in the history and philosophy of the periodic table. Throughout his career, he has specialized in historical and philosophical aspects of the periodic table. He has published over 140 articles and a number of books including The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction, A Tale of Seven Elements, A Tale of Seven Scientists and a New Philosophy of Science, and Essays in the
Philosophy of Chemistry. For the past twenty years, Scerri has been a full-time lecturer at UCLA.
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