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Introduction to solid state Chemistry - Lecture 2 - Donald R. Sadoway

Classification Schemes for the Elements


Lecture Summary

This lecture continues the discussion about origins of the periodic table, picking up with Dmitri Mendeleev’s discovery of periodic patterns among different groups of elements. At the high end of the periodic table are the superheavy elements; Prof. Sadoway discusses naming conventions and how these elements are discovered.

Elements are characterized by a range of properties. Starting with the fundamental structure of the atom and characteristics of the electron, proton, and neutron, Prof. Sadoway defines key terms such as:

  • atomic mass, proton number, neutron number, and isotopes
  • ion, cation, and anion
  • mole, Avogadro’s number, Faraday’s constant, elementary charge, and atomic mass unit

The lecture includes a description of Robert Millikan’s oil drop experiment (1909), which measured the value of the elementary charge.

A chemical reaction can be described by an equation based on conservation of mass and Dalton’s law of molar proportions. Using the example of the Kroll process for producing titanium metal, Prof. Sadoway demonstrates how to write a balanced equation, employing stoichiometry to determine how much metal is produced from a given amount of reactants.

The lecture ends with a brief biographical sketch of composer and chemistry professor Alexander Borodin, a contemporary of Mendeleev.

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