2019: The International Year of the Periodic Table

January 9, 2019

We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the periodic table this year. On 20 December 2017, during its 72nd session, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. 

On March 6, 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev made a formal presentation to the Russian Chemical Society, titled The Dependence between the Properties of the Atomic Weights of the Elements, introducing the periodic table.  Mendeleev actually dreamed of the periodic table while writing a chemistry textbook.  He said, "I saw in a dream a table where all elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper, only in one place did a correction later seem necessary."

Students are often surprised by all the information "hidden" on the periodic table by its arrangement.  Information that can be found on the periodic table includes groups/families, periods, valence electrons, ions most likely to form, metals/metalloids/nonmetals, s/p/d/f blocks, polyatomic elements, average atomic mass, atomic number and the element's symbol.  Without the periodic table, chemistry would be nearly impossible to do. It is considered to be essential to the study of chemistry as well as all other areas of science. 

Happy 150th anniversary to the periodic table!