Article

Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 5-15

First online:

Charles Janet: unrecognized genius of the periodic system

  • Philip J. StewartAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford Email author 

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Abstract

Janet is known almost exclusively for his left-step periodic table (LSPT). A study of his writings shows him to have been a highly creative thinker and a brilliant draftsman. His approach was primarily arithmetic-geometric, but it led him to anticipate the discovery of deuterium, helium-3, transuranian elements, antimatter and energy from nuclear fusion. He recognized the (n + ℓ) rule well before Madelung and correctly placed the actinides. His controversial treatment of helium at the head of the alkaline earth elements might be less provocative if his system were taken in one of its spiral representations.

Keywords

Janet Periodic system Tables Spiral representations Antimatter Madelung rule