International Year of the Periodic Table

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s discovery of the periodic system—marking one of the most significant achievements in science, which not only captured the essence of chemistry but also of physics and biology. We honor this moment in history by celebrating the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements” (IYPT2019) this year, according to IYPT2019.

There are a number of ways you can pay tribute to the invention of the “common language for science.” Explore the periodic table by participating in one of the many activities hosted by IYPT2019, like the IUPAC Periodic Table Challenge for a chance to win a periodic table signed by a Nobel laureate in chemistry, the EYCN periodic table video competition for a chance to win a trip to Paris, or show off your artwork with a creative Mendeleev Mosaic—and more!

You may even become a sponsor or submit your own event!


Did you know? Back in 1869, Mendeleev had the insight to know the discovery of other elements was in the future, leaving spaces in his periodic table open for their inclusion. He was right!

In 2016, the seventh row of the periodic table was completed with the addition of four new elements. 

People have also been playing around with the periodic table long before IYPT2019. In 2018, Vilas Pol, a chemical engineering professor from Purdue University, won a special kind of periodic table challenge. On August 15, 2018, Pol assembled all 118 elements of the periodic table in the record time of  8 minutes and 36 seconds making him the proud title holder a new Guinness World record; a first in the books!

What did Pol have to say about his record time? “As a professor, I wish that all my students know this modern periodic table by heart!”

Visit The ECS Digital Library for his work on Li-S BatteriesEnergy Storage Application, and more.

And later that year, academics at Imperial Tech Foresight put a twist on the periodic table of their own, replacing its contents with very likely elements of the future. All elements color-coded to reflect the present, 20 years into the future, and up to the faraway future; elements like Le – Life-expectancy algorithms, Ip – Implantable phone, and Is – Invisibility shields fill the table.

Another way to get a good look into the future is by listening to the scientist and engineers of today. Meetings held by societies like ECS draw in academics and researchers from all around the world. The meetings are used as a platform by scientists and academics, as a place to share and discuss ideas and work. Get a glimpse of the future at this year’s 235th ECS Meeting in Dallas, Texas, taking place May 26-30, 2019.

Can’t make it? There’s more. ECS offer biannual meetings. Check them out.

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