Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 87–91 | Cite as

The first metals in Mendeleiev’s table: further arguments to place He above Ne and not above Be

  • Alejandro Ramírez-Solís
  • Octavio Novaro


In a recent paper in this Journal, one of us argued against placing He above Be in Mendeleiev’s system of the elements. In it the goal was to dispute the notion that in Mendeleiev’s system of the elements the location of He should in fact lie above Be, which has a very similar electronic configuration, rather than above the noble gas column. That paper was based on rather old, Hartree–Fock limit studies on the strikingly limited non-additive contributions in the He3 and He4 systems in contrast with the much larger non-additivity obtained for the Be3, Be4 and Be5 oligomers. In a recent benchmark multireference Averaged Quadratic Coupled Cluster results on Be2 and Be3 we showed that the delocalized non-additive contribution comprises 94 % of the binding energy of Be3. Here we use this and other pertinent information (drawn from the same paper) to conclude that He may not be associated with Be in Mendeleiev’s Table, despite their quite similar spectroscopic ground states. Furthermore, we use the new results to show that the large non-additivity implies that less than 2 % of the Be3 binding is located in each Be pair contained within the Be trimer. The rest of the interaction energy is necessarily delocalized over all three Be atoms. This might actually announce the bulk properties (i.e. “the electron gas”) that in solid-state physics explain the large electric and heat conduction for the solid Be metal. Thus, in the case of beryllium the metallic characteristics are already evident in Be3, a far cry from the monoatomic helium gas.


Periodic table Non-additivity Beryllium trimer 



ARS thanks support from CONACYT basic science project No. 130931 and unlimited access to supercomputing resources at UAEM.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Autónoma de MorelosCuernavacaMexico
  2. 2.Instituto de FísicaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCuernavacaMexico

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