Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 5–15

Charles Janet: unrecognized genius of the periodic system


DOI: 10.1007/s10698-008-9062-5

Cite this article as:
Stewart, P.J. Found Chem (2010) 12: 5. doi:10.1007/s10698-008-9062-5


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.


JanetPeriodic systemTablesSpiral representationsAntimatterMadelung rule

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK