Celebrating 150 years of the periodic table: PSL wins a regional call for proposals


This year, the periodic table of elements of Mendeleïv celebrates its 150th anniversary. On this occasion, PSL is leading a collective action for knowledge dissemination to allow a wide public to discover and question the current challenges of chemical elements.

Tentative de classification des elements chimiques par Charles Friedel, collection Friedel Bibliothèque numérique PSL

Attempt to organize the elements, Charles Friedel, cote LAB.FRIED/14-37_ Digital library

At the end of the 19th century, all known chemical elements, such as carbon, copper, gold or oxygen, were classified in a table attributed to the Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleïev, allowing certain properties of undiscovered elements to be predicted. 150 years later, the table has 118 elements and, displayed in classrooms, it is a common reference point for students and researchers around the world. To commemorate the design of this classification system, the United Nations have designated 2019 as the "International Year of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements: A Common Language for Science".

Université PSL joined this event by setting up a collective knowledge dissemination project to share views on the new challenges of the chemical elements and make them accessible to a wide audience.

In order to make these environmental, strategic or geopolitical issues accessible to the general public, PSL responded to the Île-de-France Region's call for proposals "Science for All", and submitted the project "Les éléments au futur : nouveaux enjeux du tableau périodique", which became the winner.
Yellow gold, black gold, and now rare metals? Far from the static image of the periodic table displayed on the walls, the researchers and university experts involved in the project will be keen to raise awareness among high school students and curious scientists of the scientific and societal challenges of the elements, which arise today and will arise tomorrow.

 Chimie ParisTech and PSL-Explore celebrate Friedel  (Focus PSL-Explore)

On the occasion of the next Science Festival, from October 5 to 13, 2019, various events will be organized involving five PSL institutions (MINES ParisTech, Chimie ParisTech, Observatoire de Paris, Ecole normale supérieure and ESPCI Paris) and the DIM Respore (Réseau d’excellence en solides poreux, ENS) and the DIM ACAV+ (Astrophysique et conditions d’apparition de la vie, Observatoire de Paris). Meanwhile, throughout the year, the Table of Chemical Elements will be highlighted on PSL-Explore, our knowledge dissemination website, and all activities under the theme will be identified and tagged under the UNESCO year #IYPT2019.