History of chemistry

The history of chemistry is rich, evolving from early discussions on the nature of matter in ancient Egypt and Greece, through to the emergence of alchemy, the development of the periodic table and quantum chemistry.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Lanthanum is the first lanthanide — or the last. Or it’s not a lanthanide at all. In any case, Brett Thornton and Shawn Burdette are sure that it’s an element that might or might not be in group three of the periodic table.

    • Brett F. Thornton
    •  & Shawn C. Burdette
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Michelle Francl suggests that we should expand our view of the periodic table to new dimensions.

    • Michelle Francl
    Nature Chemistry 11, 101-102
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Through an overview of James Watson’s recounting of the discovery of the structure of DNA, Chris Toumey illustrates the value to be found in the stories of the interaction among scientists behind great scientific discoveries.

    • Chris Toumey
  • Editorial |

    The United Nations has declared 2019 to be the International Year of the Periodic Table to coincide with this iconic chemical chart turning 150 years old. We join in with the celebrations by publishing a collection of articles that explore the edges of the periodic system and look at some of the elements that do — and don’t — make up the table.

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Stuart Cantrill explains why looking to the heavens for element 61 — named after the Titan who stole fire from the gods — could extend the periodic table.

    • Stuart Cantrill
    Nature Chemistry 10, 1270