Sunday, January 20, 2013
Alexandre-Emile Beguyer de Chancourtois
He is best remembered for being the first to organize chemical elements into a system based on chemical similarities. Using the atomic masses obtained by Stanislao Cannizzaro, he developed a table of sixteen units, the atomic mass of oxygen, that wrapped around a cylinder, like the thread of a screw. This system was not widely accepted by chemists because when it was originally published the printer did not understand the cylindrical system so there was no diagram printed and when it was later published in a geological journal it was ignored by chemists. The idea that chemical elements have periodic properties or chemical similarities as atomic mass increases eventually was developed by Dimitri Mendeleev into the first periodic table which was able to predict properties of yet undiscovered elements. The periodic table used today is based on that of Mendeleev.
He died on November 14, 1886 in Paris.
Fuchs, Edmond; "Obituary Notice on MA-E Beguyer de Chancourtois, Inspector General of Mines"; Retrieved from: http://www.annales.org
Strathern, Paul; Mendeleev's Dream: the Quest for the Elements; Macmillan; 2001
Alexandre-Emile Beguyer de Chancourtois Wikipedia Entry