I'm Chels. I blog about science, art, tennis, and my adventures in journalism. Officially, I'm a Science Writer at Brookhaven National Lab and I blog for them, too. Unofficially, I'm pretty awesome.

Or, you know, owsome.

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These days, I find myself needing to look at a Periodic Table of the Elements fairly often. That’s what happens when you’re trying to decipher the alphabet soup of chemistry into comprehensible news articles. Anyway, I started looking around for a beautiful Periodic Table to hang on my office wall and I came upon this gorgeous spiral version from a 1949 Life Magazine special on the atom. (Click to see it bigger).

The description from the magazine follows:

The irregular spiral above is a systematic arrangement of the 92 natural elements, the four new elements so far created by man and eight more elements which it is theoretically possible to create… It is on the basis of this number [of electrons] that the elements are arranged in sequence: after hydrogen, with  its single electron, come helium with two, lithium with three, beryllium with four and so on around the spiral… The table is so organised that elements whose chemistry is almost identical are grouped together in blocks or connected by solid arrows (all the inert gases – helium, neon, etc. – fall in the single gray block at the left).

I especially love the muted colors. They remind me of old animations; I half expect that narrator from the 1950s Goofy cartoons to start telling me about the noble gases or something.

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    I want.
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  12. massmediamobile said: Tufte would approve! Nice find! That’s a keeper!
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