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Icon of Chemistry: The Periodic System of Chemical Elements in the New Century


  • We acknowledge valuable input from our colleagues H. Bent, J. C. A. Boeyens, P. Buck, H. J. Deiseroth, G. Frenking, M. Gröger, M. Kaji, W. Kutzelnigg, M. Reiher, G. Restrepo, E. Scerri, V. Scharf, F. Schmidt, J. Schummer, P. Thyssen, F. Weinhold, A. Wickleder, A. Woyke, and unknown referees. We are grateful for financial support from the DFG (Schw 161), the FCI (160 273) (Germany), and the NSFC (2057 3074) and the SRFDP (2004-024 8017) (China).


A closer look: A deeper theoretical understanding of the multifaceted periodic system of elements (PSE) has been achieved in recent years. The large energy gaps above the noble gas shells 1s2 and np6 (n=2–6) impress periodicity onto the whole PSE, which is complete with Period 7. The electron configurations of unbound atoms are chemically misleading. The common n+l rule is an example of the “invention of facts” even in the hard sciences.

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