Mendeleev’s Building Blocks of Life


Mendeleev’s Periodic Table Draft Is Virtually Unrecognizable –But It Changed Science Forever

by Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer for Live Science 

On Feb. 17, 1869, Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published his first attempt to sort the building blocks of life into orderly groups. Now, 150 years later, we know the fruits of his labor as the Periodic Table of Elements — a quintessential piece of classroom wall art and indispensable research tool to anyone who’s ever picked up a beaker.

As you can see for yourself in the hand-scrawled draft above, Mendeleev’s first table looked very different than the one we know today. In 1869, only 63 elements were known (compared with the 118 elements we have identified today). As a student at Heidelberg University in Germany and later as a professor at St. Petersburg University, Mendeleev realized that by grouping elements according to their atomic weights, certain types of elements periodically occurred. [Elementary, My Dear: 8 Little-Known Elements]

Mendeleev honed this “periodic system,” as he called it, by writing down the names, masses and properties of each known element on a set of cards. According to science historian Mike Sutton of Chemistry World, Mendeleev then laid these cards down before him — solitaire-like — and started shuffling them around until he found an order that made sense.

Ultimately, Mendeleev’s eureka moment came to him in a dream, Sutton wrote. When he awoke, he arranged his element cards in vertical columns in order of increasing atomic weight, starting a fresh column to group elements with similar properties into the same horizontal row. With these guiding principles, he eventually created the world’s first Periodic Table.

Mendeleev was so confident in his system that he left gaps for undiscovered elements, and even predicted (correctly) the properties of three of those elements. Those three elements — known now as galliumscandium and germanium — were discovered within the next three years and matched Mendeleev’s predictions, helping to solidify the reputation of his table, Sutton reported.

The table wasn’t perfect (Mendeleev was unable to locate hydrogen using his system, for example), but it laid a solid groundwork for generations of chemists to build upon over the next 150 years.

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    • and actually, amino acids are the building blocks of life, whereas the elements are matter and time.
      the 20 days correlate with sequence and function with the 20 standard amino acids and the primordial elements Tin through Ytterbium

  1.…2.0..0.87.1355.19……0….1..gws-wiz…..0..0j0i131j0i131i10.UNT_luPvMrE Quote:
    “Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev was a Russian chemist and inventor. He formulated the Periodic Law, created a farsighted version of the periodic table of elements, and used it to correct the properties of some already discovered elements and also to predict the properties of eight elements yet to be discovered. Wikipedia
    Born: February 8, 1834, Tobolsk, Russia
    Died: February 2, 1907, Saint Petersburg, Russia
    Known for: Formulating the Periodic table of chemical elements
    Education: Saint Petersburg State University (1855–1856), Saint Petersburg State University (1850–1855), Heidelberg University
    Siblings: Masha Mendeleeva
    Awards: Copley Medal, Davy Medal, Demidov Prize”
    Nobel Prize
    Dictionary result for Nobel Prize
    “/ˌnōbel ˈprīz/
    1. any of six international prizes awarded annually for outstanding work in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics (since 1969), and the promotion of peace. The Nobel Prizes, first awarded in 1901, were established by the will of Alfred Nobel and are traditionally awarded on December 10, the anniversary of his death. The awards are decided by boards of deputies appointed by Swedish learned societies and, in the case of the peace prize, by the Norwegian Parliament.”

    From 1901-1907 the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to one Dutchman, one Swede, one Scotsman, one Frenchman and 3 Germans. While all these individuals were great Chemists of the day none rose to the level of Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev from Russia for his seminal elucidation of the Periodic Table of the Elements certainly one of the greatest discoveries of the nineteenth century and one of the greatest and most significant discoveries of all time. It is obvious the prejudiced Nobel Committee favored their friends and cronies from Europe then because the genius Russian Chemist and Scientist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev died February 2, 1907. This blatant prejudice against a giant Russian Chemist and Scientist must be their greatest failure. So far as I know the award has never been given posthumously.