The Periodic Table

Transcript from the ‘Periodic Table’ movie
TPFM. This is Tony Zabalione. Sweet for the ladies, something stronger for the gents. Tonight we’re going live to the London’s O2 Arena for a rare performance by the Periodic Table. Devised by Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev, the Periodic Table was formed in 1869, sweet summer of ’69. 1-8-6-9 UK Sterling Greenwich Mean Time years. 1869 was the year. Currently there are 118 members of the Periodic table. The classic formation of the table is of 18 vertical groups and 7 horizontal rows (known as periods). The Lanthanoids and Actinoids are usually separated out. I guess those guys just need their own space. We’re ready to handover to TPTV for tonight’s performance. And it’s over to you Tony Zirconium. Hellooooooo London!

Atomic number
Ladies and gentlemen – the Periodic Table! Here they come in order of their atomic number. Hydrogen is first out followed by Helium. Hello Helium. Number 8 Oxygen we sure need you. Fluorine at 9, remember kids keep brushing your teeth. At 13 unlucky for some it’s Aluminium. Clean in at 17 – Chlorine. Holy Kryptonite at 36. Hi ho Silver! Number 47. At 50 it’s Herge’s adventures of Tin Tin! You are Gold! In at 79. Hey lighten up Lead, you’re 82.

Vertical groups and horizontal rows (periods)
The horizontal rows are known as periods – hence the Periodic Table. These rows are organised by the chemical properties of the elements. We have metals to the left and non metals to the right. The elements are listed by their atomic number (which is the number of protons in the atomic nucleus). From top left Hydrogen with an atomic number of 1 to Ununoctium bottom right with an atomic number of 118. Ladies and Gentlemen – I give you the Periodic Table in classic formation. Now guys on the count of three I want you to disappear behind your colour blocks. 1, 2, 3! Ain’t that purty?

Quotes about the Periodic Table
Author Bill Bryson describes the periodic table as a ‘thing of beauty in the abstract, but for chemists it established an immediate clarity’. Writer Robert E Krebs suggests it’s ‘the most elegant organisational chart ever devised’. Tony Pritchard of the LCC considers the Periodic Table as a classic of Information design. Praise indeed.

Alkali metals
I want us to get to know the different groups within the table. Here are the metals. First up the Alkali metals, six in total including Lithium, Potassium and at 11, this guy is the salt of the earth, literally! It’s sodium. Give it up for the Alkalis – our kinda guys.

Alkaline earth metals
Next up it’s the Alkaline earth metals. Including at 12 that bright light, Magnesium. Transition elements make yourselves known! We got some beautiful metals here: Titanium, Copper, Platinum and Mercury. Up next the Lanthanoids and Actinoids. The Actinoids doesn’t include my anium, no it’s Uranium. Finishing off the metals – it’s the ‘other metals’. Aw – you’re not just any other metals to me guys, you’re the special metals. Hey what are you guys doing on stage? Oh oh – it’s the metalloids! Can you guys make your minds up are you metals or not? [They are also known as semi-metals]. Give it up for the metals. Metalloids what are you doing?

Time for the non-metals. Can we restore some calm and dignity. Introducing the other non-metals. Up next the Halogens. Add bulbs to shopping list and save the planet. Now these next guys get a bad press. Some call them inert, I think they’re rather noble. I like these guys, I know you’re gonna love them – the inert gases! There you have it – the non-metals. Oh no! It’s the metalloids again!

Unknown chemical properties
Have we left anyone out? Hey you guys don’t know who you are – you’re the unknown chemical properties!

Solids, liquids, gases, unknown and synthetic categories
I don’t want to over categorise you guys but who are the solids? Let’s get wet with the liquids! A right couple of show offs – Mercury and Bromine getting it together there. Hissss – here come the gases! Now did I turn the gas off? They should really know who they are, we certainly do by now – it’s the unknowns! And finally the synthetics – are you guys for real?

There you have it, the periodic table. In devising this method of vertical and horizontal cross referencing Mr Mendeleyev is said to have been inspired by the game of patience. Where the cards are arranged in suits horizontally and by descending number vertically. However you did it sir, we salute you – you sure dealt the world a good hand!

A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
Tony Pritchard’s YouTube Channel