Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Periodic Circles of Elements Galore


There was a recent paper posted to the general physics arXiv about how it's better in various ways to represent the table in a circular format. An article in the MIT Technology Review suggests somewhat hilariously that this is a bad idea because it's "impossible" to rotate it on most computer screens. Right: because whenever I have a portrait style photo I have to physically pick up the monitor and set it on its side (luckily I can do the impossible!). The article is pretty bad in general. My favorite is the claim that "The periodic table has been stamped into the minds of countless generations of schoolchildren." Let's see: when was it invented, again? 1869? Hmmm. . . . At least the author didn't claim that it's literally been countless generations. . . .

Anyway, it turns out that something like this has been considered many times before. There's even a site where one can buy a t-shirt of the "Mayan Period Table". Now that's some cutting-edge nerd attire. . . .
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