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Topic: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)  (Read 2999 times)

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Ziggy

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Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« on: November 01, 2018, 01:48:01 PM »
Hi all. This is my first post here. I'm hoping to gather some opinions.

As part of a STEM/STEAM inspired initiative I am designing a periodic table that will visualize the various properties of the elements, using the best principles of "information design" to illustrate those properties, which will allow the elements, groups and periods to be more clearly understood and compared. The first version will be a printed, classroom-size wall chart. I am hoping to get initial thoughts now, and (down the road) some critiques of the chart itself prior to printing.

All totaled I'll be displaying more than 20 properties for each element. In addition to arranging the elements in standard 18-column format and displaying the symbols, numbers and names of the 118 elements, for each element the chart will illustrate:

- the electron configuration
- whether the element is gas, liquid or solid
- melting and boiling points
- volume, density and mass
- specific heat capacity
- molar heat capacity
- atomic radius, covalent radius, ionic radius
- category (e.g., transition metals)
- isotopes and % abundance
- half-life and decay particles
- year of discovery and the discoverer(s)
- oxidation numbers
   
Question 1: Are there any additional properties that you would like to see added?

Question 2: The chart will be 42 x 58 inches (typical classroom size). I also had a request for a larger "auditorium lecture" size version, and a smaller-room-size version (28 x 40 inches). The smaller size will require that I display fewer properties (space is tight). For the smaller size chart, which of the above do you think I should keep or be okay with eliminating?

Thanks for any feedback - Dan

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 03:31:55 PM »
Welcome, Ziggy!

This is a matter of taste, and you'll get as many opinions as people...

I doubt you can indicate the half-life and decay mode for the elements. That's a nuclide property that fits in a table of the nuclides. Some elements have a dozen natural isotopes and 30 known isotopes, most with 2-3 decay modes. At best, you can indicate the decay of the most abundant isotope, but some elements are not natural.

I'd like the isotopes listed by decreasing natural abundance, and maybe by decreasing half-life for the unstable ones.

I suggest that you shade and circle the element boxes with different colours to indicate
solid, liquid, gas, maybe cryogenic gas
stable, radioactive, artificial (which isn't the same)
metal, semi-metal, metalloid, transition element. Be clear if "metal" is for a chemist or a solid physicist.
This saves room.

The density, molar volume and specific heat capacity depend on the allotrope. In some cases, especially graphite, the density is only a theoretical value never encountered. This should at least be hinted somewhere. Molar volume and heat capacity are dropaway candidates for a smaller chart.

The radii are very badly defined. To the very least, hint at this somewhere, and tell which convention you use. Good candidate for dropping away.

Most elements have many possible oxidation numbers, check Wiki for that. You might want to restrict to the most common numbers, especially for a smaller table.

I don't care about who discovered an element when.

The abundance in Earth's crust could be interesting. Or the estimated resource: check at USGS. But not the price, which varies too much - or give just a power of ten or a category.

Energy of first ionization? Electronegativity? Redox potentials aren't associated with just an element, but maybe you could tell (colour?) if the uncombined element exists in natural state.

To the melting and boiling points, which I appreciate, you might add the critical temperature, maybe pressure.

You might check the properties given at webelements.com. In a website, they have more room than on a wall chart. I'd find healthy to pick only the properties associated with the elements, not with their isotopes (spin, magnetic moment, thermal neutron absorption...), and use discretion about the ones associated with the state of the element (modulus, speed of sound, conductivity, atomic radius and so on).

Ziggy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 05:30:47 PM »
Enthalpy - Thanks for the reply. I'm illustrating/graphing most of the properties listed to allow visual comparisons as you look across or down the table. For instance, I'm diagramming electron configurations, shells and orbitals. For each element the outer shell depicts the radius (when possible.) So I'll have to explain how the radii were derived. Similar approach for the other properties. I'm also color-coding where it makes sense. I've addressed just about every property so far, although not electronegativity yet.

When I get a bit further I may post a link to artwork for feedback. Also looking for a few interested people here to advise/critique it before it's finalized and goes to print, shooting for January/February 2019.

Ziggy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 04:23:43 PM »
I'm getting closer to finalization of the art work for the periodic table, and would appreciate any feedback as I get closer to a print date.

My background is in design and ergonomics, with special interest in usability and information design. The periodic table, 150 years old, is a great, early example of information design. By arranging elements in rows, gaps in the original table identified yet-to-be discovered elements – but with predictable behaviors.

Looking today at current print versions of periodic tables, I believe they could be much informative and inspiring - not simply a listing of numbers. So my project is a self-generated STEM/STEAM initiative. I would like to show it to a few people here to get some feedback on the design. If anyone can spare a few minutes, please let me know - you can reply here or send me a personal message.

Thanks - Dan


Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 10:45:56 AM »
Why not display your design publicly in this discussion? It's the usefulness of a forum, that many people may contribute. Use the "Attach" button below the window where you type the message.

Ziggy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 11:48:55 AM »
I'll post some images soon - I'm completing a few more details in the artwork and want to get it to the next level of finalization first. Stay tuned... (and Happy New Year!)

judyrodgers

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 07:28:34 AM »
Wow. That's really interesting. I want to see them too. So when do you plan to post them? I will definitely write a feedback and also share it with my friends so they can write a feedback too.


Ziggy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2019, 06:59:57 PM »
Excuse the delayed reply. I've been working on the periodic table and will post something soon. (Was also having trouble logging on the the forum, had to re-register.)

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2019, 08:43:51 AM »
Thinking at how indicate if an element is a reducer and how strongly... Electronegativity is a bad indicator here, first ionization energy isn't quite good neither as it characterizes lone atoms, redox potential depends too much on arbitrary choices.

The biggest heat of formation of an oxide computed per mole of oxygen atoms and in standard conditions would give an indication. Most elements form oxides This would hint at displacement reactions, including with other oxidisers to some extent, and indicate how difficult the element is to obtain from ore.

Offline Ziggy

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I've been working with a number of chemistry teachers over the last several months to develop a visually instructive version of the periodic table. As mentioned previously, this is a self-initiated STEM/STEAM project, something I have been thinking about and developing for some time. My current goal is to both gather feedback (the artwork is almost complete but not fully finalized) and to gauge interest in the project. It's a classroom/lab-size chart, 42" x 58". I set up a website describing the project: https://thinkacthuman.com/periodictable/ (thinkacthuman.com) If you can take a look I will appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. Also would appreciate circulating this to anyone you know who would be interested. Thanks. - Dan

« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 03:23:18 PM by Ziggy »

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2019, 06:43:36 AM »
Nice to see the progress!

I appreciate that you emphasize the aesthetics. The computer screen is too small, but at real size the table must be quite readable.

I wouldn't have added the naive diagrams with electrons on circles. These induce misconceptions that take much time to correct. The dry writing of orbitals filling contains all the information. If not writing the complete filling, it would be clearer to put it shorthand, like Xe before detailing the outer orbitals in Pb. But I like the visual indication of a radius.

Did you warn against the atomic radii somewhere and tell which definitions you use?

I'd have put fewer molecular properties as they vary (for instance: what is a sulphur crystal) and a few more atomic ones. The potential of first ionization. The abundance in Earth's crust, Ocean or atmosphere. Colours for the electronegativity and first ionization?

The Angstrom is deprecated and makes your table look old-fashioned. Picometres are the present-day unit.

Kudos and encouragement!

Offline Ziggy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 12:13:18 PM »
Hi Enthalpy

Thanks for the great feedback. I'll follow through on the suggestions. I will also be filling in more detail in the legend area along the bottom of the chart, including the method for determining the radii.

The abundance is shown (did I misinterpret that comment)? I'll make the angstrom > picometer conversion. Presently I'm having several people review and verify all information being represented, then will make appropriate updates.

The full chart is 42 x 58 inches (typical chart size), each element cell is 70 x 82mm. Type sizes within a cell vary considerably (intentionally, more information is revealed as you get closer.) Colors are still being worked out, and may also appear different on the screen.

My main goal at this point, on the critical path, is to verify that there's interest. A print run would require a minimum of 250 charts. I'm looking at high-quality paper and printing, and hanging hardware – cost including shipping will likely be in the $70 range (possibly a bit less, tbd). I'm considering launching this project on Kickstarter, it's best to make sure there's interest before announcing that.

Here's a closeup of the layout being used for each cell.

Dan

thinkacthuman.com



Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2019, 04:48:42 AM »
Seen the isotopes' abundance, which is a nice information that former charts lacked.

I meant: the abundance of the elements, like silicon is common in Earth's crust while platinum is scarce.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_elements_in_Earth%27s_crust
Or the abundance in the atmosphere if it makes more sense (argon) or in the Ocean (sodium).

Offline Ziggy

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2019, 10:59:27 AM »
Abundance - got it, thanks again. I'll add it, stay tuned for updates.

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Re: Designing a new periodic table (STEM/STEAM initiative)
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2019, 11:06:38 AM »
Somewhat stylistic suggestion, but I recommend the use of non-serif font for chemical symbols. It looks extremely busy with serif-font.
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

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