The Periodic Table Gets a Makeover

Remember the periodic table you were taught back in high school chemistry? Well, it was wrong.

Scientists are revising the way atomic weights of 10 elements are displayed in a new Periodic Table:

The new table, outlined in a report released this month, will express atomic weights of 10 elements -- hydrogen, lithium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, chlorine and thallium -- in a new manner that will reflect more accurately how these elements are found in nature.

"For more than a century and a half, many were taught to use standard atomic weights -- a single value -- found on the inside cover of chemistry textbooks and on the periodic table of the elements. As technology improved, we have discovered that the numbers on our chart are not as static as we have previously believed," says Dr. Michael Wieser, an associate professor at the University of Calgary, who serves as secretary of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's (IUPAC) Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights. This organization oversees the evaluation and dissemination of atomic-weight values. [...]

The atomic weights of these 10 elements now will be expressed as intervals, having upper and lower bounds, reflected to more accurately convey this variation in atomic weight.

Link (Image: Chemists Do It Periodically on a Table by Chris Murphy from the NeatoShop)


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