One of the nice things about the Internet is that you don’t need huge reference books anymore. You really don’t need big wall charts, either. A case in point: what science classroom didn’t have a periodic table of the elements? Now you can just look up an interactive one from Google. They say it is 3D and we suppose that’s the animations of the Bohr model for each atom. You can debate if it is a good idea to show people Bohr models or not, but it is what most of us learned, after all.
While the website is probably aimed more at students, it is a handy way to look up element properties and it is visually attractive, too. You probably remember, the columns are no accident in a periodic table, so the actual format doesn’t vary from one instance of it to another. However, we liked the col coding and the information panel that appears when you click on an element.
Not that we haven’t seen interactive online tables before. There’s Ptable, for example, or one from a Royal Society, no less. If you want to go commercial, there’s always Fisher — a well-known name around the lab. Their table is pretty simple from a technical point of view, but they have longer writeups about each element.
Granted, we don’t reach for a periodic table every day. But we do need some of that data sometimes. If you need a refresher on what to do with it, talk to [Will Sweatman]. If you prefer to make everything a game, try periodic table Battleship. Meanwhile, for extra credit, try figuring out what other elements are missing from [Tom Lehrer’s] song in the video below without looking at the tables.