Patterns in crystals

The patterns I have chosen for boron and aluminium allow me to introduce you to one of my favourite books. From Atoms to Patterns by Lesley Jackson concerns the Festival Pattern Group, a project instigated by Cambridge crystallographer Dr Helen Megaw for the Festival of Britain in 1951. She brought together British crystallographers and industrialContinue reading “Patterns in crystals”

Properties of halogens

I have previously posted fluorine and chlorine, the two elements at the top of Group VII – the halogens – and astatine near the bottom. Today the two in between: bromine and iodine. These patterns result from their physical properties and give me the rare opportunity to incorporate some organic chemistry. Similarly to fluorine andContinue reading “Properties of halogens”

For better, for worse

One for the toxicologists and one for the immunologists today: polonium and astatine – the two elements I have struggled with most so far to find something I could work into a design. Both are radioactive – a property that can be harnessed for good or for harm. Astatine (from the Greek astatos meaning unstable)Continue reading “For better, for worse”

Location, location, location

According to the rules of the international Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), a new element can be named after a mythological concept or character (including an astronomical object), a mineral or similar substance, a place or geographical region, a property of the element, or a scientist. These three elements, numbers 115, 116 andContinue reading “Location, location, location”

Now you know your A, B, G…

First published on FB 13/03/2020 This was supposed to be a periodic table devoid of letters and numbers, so why do we have here alpha, beta, gamma – the first three letters of the Greek alphabet? The element cadmium is named for Cadmean earth, an ore found near Thebes, the ancient Greek city founded byContinue reading “Now you know your A, B, G…”