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de Chancourtois Periodic Table

Alexandre-Emile Béguyer de Chancourtois

In 1862, before Newlands announced his Law of Octaves and Mendeleev described his Periodic System, de Chancourtois presented a paper to the French Academy of Sciences which was then published in this Society own Journal, Comptes Rendus. However, the concept was poorly presented and difficult to understand. The following diagram which would have made de Chancourtois ideas much clearer was omitted although it did later appear in a less widely-read geological pamphlet. It is not surprising then, that chemists in other countries were unaware of de Chancourtois efforts. Indeed they were unrecognised until after Mendeleev's more detailed ideas of a Periodic Table had become accepted. (reference)

de Chancourtois vis tellurique or telluric spiral

de Chancourtois called his idea "vis tellurique" or telluric spiral because the element tellurium came in the middle. It was also somewhat appropriate coming from a geologist as the element tellurium is named after the Earth. He plotted the atomic weights on the outside of a cylinder such that one complete turn corresponded to an atomic weight increase of 16.

See also: Development of the Periodic Table, de Chancourtois, Dobereiner, Mendeleev, Moseley, Newlands, Seaborg