Before arriving at the periodic table we’re all familiar with, the elements have been put through different rearrangements and redesigns. Afterwards, periodic table redesigns didn’t stop coming. Now, mathematicians are joining the conversation, and propose that the periodic table be organized like a network:
Now mathematicians at the Max Planck Institute have detailed mathematical methods for cataloguing the elements, creating a series of complex hypergraphs, rather than the more basic periodic table currently in universal use.
In this way, they say, the periodic table can be adapted in a number of ways, providing many different interpretations of elemental classification depending on how they are ordered - with no one way more correct than any other.
You can see an adjusted image of this new organisation of the Periodic Table above - it had to be rotated 90 degrees to fit our site. The full thing is laid out at the bottom of this article.
What do you think?
Image Credit: Guillermo Restrepo, MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences