Books Received | Published:

(1) The Elements Speculations as to their Nature and Origin (2) The Relations between Chemical Constitution and Some Physical Properties (Text-Books of Physical Science (3) Physical Chemistry Its Bearing on Biology and Medicine

Nature volume 85, pages 6970 (17 November 1910) | Download Citation



THE discovery of radio-activity has, by the introduction of a new idea, reawakened interest in many outstanding problems of physical science. Prominent among these is the fascinating question of the nature and origin of the elements. Chemists with the periodic table of Mendeléeff before them, in spite of the warnings of its author, have been unable to resist the idea that some close genetic relation exists between the different elements of the nine groups of which the table consists, certainly along the vertical lines and probably also along the horizontal series. As to the nature of this relationship, nothing very definite was known or even imagined beyond the fact that it was accompanied by increase in atomic mass, and the probability that it was the result of condensation of some primal matter or protyle, under the influence of changing conditions, of which temperature was possibly one of the chief factors.

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