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Lead Kindly Light:Spectroscopy and the Periodic Table


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1 Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences, Jalahalli, Bengaluru 560 013, India
 

Spectroscopy, in the visible as well as X-ray regions, played a significant role in putting the periodic table on a firm footing. This article provides a few glimpses of this aspect.
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  • Bunsen, R. and Roscoe, H. E., Poggendorff’s Ann. Chem. Phys., 1857, 100, 43. An interesting account of the story behind the creation of this burner is given in W. B. Jensen. J. Chem. Ed., 2005, 82, 518.
  • It may be mentioned owing to its long half-life (~30 years), the radioactive isotope caesium-137 caused much concern during nuclear disasters like the one that occurred in Chernobyl in 1986.
  • Apart from discovery of Caesium and Rubidium, he also found that addition of iron oxide hydrate to a solution having arsenic dissolved precipitates the poison, rendering it harmless. This serves as an antidote for arsenic poisoning even in modern times. As a token of appreciation of Robert Bunsen’s contributions, Google ran a doodle on his 200th birthday, 31 March 2011, in which the Burner found a prominent place.
  • The electrical engineers know him better for his laws of circuit analysis. It is amazing that he came up with this quite profound analysis when, as a student, he was asked to give a seminar. In fact, his laws of thermochemistry are also well known.
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  • A well illustrated diagram of Moseley’s apparatus is given by Jim and Rhoda Morris in http://www.scitechantiques.com/Mosley_atomic_number/; also see Scerri, E., ‘Master of Missing Elements’ Am. Sci., 2014, 102, 358; doi:10.1511/2014.110.358; a documentary video ‘The Mystery of Matter’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWQZE0HPoAY.
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  • Lead Kindly Light:Spectroscopy and the Periodic Table

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Authors

S. Krishna Prasad
Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences, Jalahalli, Bengaluru 560 013, India

Abstract


Spectroscopy, in the visible as well as X-ray regions, played a significant role in putting the periodic table on a firm footing. This article provides a few glimpses of this aspect.

References





DOI: https://doi.org/10.18520/cs%2Fv117%2Fi12%2F1967-1970