music ‘Twas a night in St. Petersburg, when all
through the house. Not a beaker was stirring, and the burners were doused. The acids and bases were corked up with care, awaiting tomorrow’s experiments in
pristine glassware. The lab assistants were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of tenured positions danced in their heads. And wrapped up in
blankets offering Baltic winter insulation, Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev
was beginning a long hibernation. When a spark of historical genius arrived in a dream – a rare human glimpse at nature unseen! With the “aha!” moment, he awoke from
his slumbers and scrambled to write down the neat rows and numbers. See, in this (apocryphal?) telling, the discovery was quick; in just a few minutes he made it
all click. For his mind had been filled but needed some rest after three long
days of puzzling away at his desk. And as the moonlight shone on fresh snow outside, Mendeleev arranged both halogen and halide. Then from his invigorated brain did appear, a place for the alkali metals –
it was finally clear! “Now lithium! Now sodium! Now potassium and rubidium! On beryllium! On magnesium! On titanium on zirconium!” From the hydrogen on top to the lead at the base, Mendeleev devised a system where they
all had a place. And when his pattern left a gap in the chart
he didn’t despair or tear it apart. The great chemist reasoned these holes
simply implied that another element was out there just not yet classified. In the years that followed we added so many more, (Berkeley lab found 16 – but it was
keeping score?) And the order and structure saw such constant upheaval, that today Mendeleev’s first version is bizarre to most people. Yet despite all the flaws
in his reverie-fueled revelations, science lovers laud what was built on
his works foundations, So, for the 150th anniversary, we went all in for glory, a twelve-month homage through art, song, and story. But the year’s wrapping up
and there’s not much left to write – other than “Happy International
Year of the Periodic Table to all, and to all a goodnight!” music