The discovery of what element showed the usefulness of Mendeleev's periodic table?

1 Answer
Mar 30, 2017

The discovery of three, hypothetical elements old Mendeleev called #"ekasilicon,"# #"ekaaluminium,"# and #"ekaboron."#


And these were later characterized and given formal names of #"germanium"#, #"gallium"# and #"scandium"#, respectively. Before Mendeleev's time (and he shared the discovery of Periodicity with other independent researchers, most notably Lothar Meyer) much was known of the properties and chemistry of the then known elements. Not a great deal was known as to how the elements related to each other. And the proposed Periodic Tables provided a systematic framework.

Mendeleev was shrewd enough to realize that at the time of publication of his first Periodic Table, not all the elements had been characterized, and apparent gaps in his table could be accounted for by hypothetical elements, which had yet to be characterized, hence his tentatively named elements as given.

The discovery and characterization of the new elements, as predicted, was powerful evidence of the utility of Periodic classification. Today, no chemist or physicist would be without a copy of the Modern Periodic Table; which today is organized on the basis of atomic number rather than on atomic mass (upon which Mendeleev was forced to rely). No student of chemistry or physics should be without a copy of the Periodic Table either - copies are ALWAYS issued in chemistry and physics examinations.