The history of the periodic table.

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The history of the periodic table and its elements can be traced as far back as the Ancient Greek times.  They believed in four simple elements.  These were: earth, air, water, and fire.  This idea of elements was never picked up again until the 17th and 18th centuries.  Also, another Greek idea was that the universe was made out of small particles called atoms.  Leucippus and Demokritos had the idea of that and worked together.  However, Aristotle (a Greek philosopher) didn’t agree, and the idea never carried on.  About 200 years ago, a man named John Dalton suggested the exact same thing.  He did continuous research, like the combination of a hydrogen atom with an oxygen atom to form water.  Evidence like this paved the way for the theory, and his Atomic Theory was eventually accepted.  Back to the elements, though…

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Antoine Lavoisier drew up a table of 33 of them for his book 'Traité Elémentaire de Chimie' (Elementary Treatise of Chemistry) published in 1789.  Lavoisier grouped them into four categories on the basis of their chemical properties: gases, non-metals, metals and earths.  

In the early 1800s, all the chemists could go on was Relative Atomic Mass, and on physical and chemical properties.  They had no idea about atomic structure or protons and electrons.  This meant there was no ‘proton number’ to them.    The discovered elements so far were arranged in order of atomic mass only, and so obviously ...

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