The World of Atom (Part IV)

ReferenceA Logical Approach to Theoretical Physics



Chapter 19: Polyatomic Molecules (Stanislao Cannizzaro 1826 – 1910)

Cannizzaro adopted a molecular, i.e., polyatomic, view of the elements, and showed that the atomic weights of elements, prepared in volatile compounds, could be deduced by the application of Avogadro’s hypothesis together with accurate combining weight data and vapor densities. Cannizzaro’s great contribution was that “the different quantities of the same element contained in different molecules are all whole multiples of one and the same quantity, which always being entire, has the right to be called an atom.”

This shows that the chemical combination of elements is possible only in certain precise ratios. Elements combine as multiples of a certain quantity called their atomic weight. This echoes the later idea of “quantum numbers,” but it applies to chemical reactions. This is interesting from the view that atoms being vortices of energy, may lock with each other in a certain manner only.

Chapter 20: The Periodic Table of the Elements (Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev 1834 – 1907)

Mendeleev discovered that the properties of the elements are related to their atomic weights in a periodic manner. This not only settled their atomic weights but also predicted previously unknown elements. It also provided the recognition of true relations of different groups of elements to one another, e. g., valency. The elements most widely distributed in nature have small atomic weights, and all such elements are distinguished by their characteristic behavior. They are thus typical, and the lightest element, hydrogen, is therefore rightly chosen as the typical unit of mass.

The Periodic Law indicates that the atom has structure and there is some periodicity to that structure. This structure determines the properties of the element.



NOTE: This postulate is consistent with previous postulates.

  1. Periodicity is built into the structure of substance.


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