Science nerds: Stare in awe at the periodic table in emojis

Part of Nicola Gaston's period table in emojis.
Part of Nicola Gaston's period table in emojis. Photo credit: Nicola Gaston

A New Zealand scientist who teaches quantum physics has tweeted out a work of scientific beauty.

Dr Nicola Gaston is interested in "chemical reactivity, conductivity and thermodynamic stability" - and emojis.

She's tweeted a highly nerdy and extremely cool image of (part of) the periodic table in emojis.

First, let's take a look at a typical depication of the periodic table.

All 118 known elements as of May 2017 depicted in the periodic table.
All 118 known elements as of May 2017 depicted in the periodic table. Photo credit: Getty

Now gaze upon this work of art and science.

The periodic table is an arrangement of the chemical elements according to their atomic number, configuration of electrons and chemical properties. 

The arrangement of groups allows certain 'families' of chemicals to be visually represented. Chemicals on the right of the table are typically non-metals, with metals on the left. Noble gases are in group 18 - the far right of the first section of the periodic table.

Dr Gaston is a big fan of the periodic table, and says it is fascinating for what it reveals about the arrangement of electrons within atoms.

"We still understand very little, in some ways, of why the properties of atoms change so much with the addition of a single electron, because the interactions between electrons become very complex," she told Newshub.  

"It's that complexity that I got really interested in trying to show as I put the table together, even though my choices of what to show about each element were rather subjective."

Dr Gaston also experimented with different arrangements of the chemical elements, including a vertical arrangement, in order to fit them all into a tweetable image.

Dr Gaston says the vertical table is "actually the way Mendeleev's original version was presented, so there's no particular reason it shouldn't be that way!"

But she concluded there's no way people will recognise the table "without the traditional form."

Give her a Nobel Prize already.


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