Collection |

The periodic table

When Dimitri Mendeleev published the first periodic table 150 years ago, only about half as many elements were known as today. Over the ensuing decades, researchers have added new names to the chart, first by isolating elements in nature and then by smashing atomic nuclei together to create artificial ones, some of which exist for just fractions of a second. In celebration of Mendeleev’s achievement and the International Year of the Periodic Table, this special issue of Nature examines the past, present and future of the iconic chart.


When Mendeleev proposed his periodic table in 1869, element 43 was unknown. In 1937, it became the first element to be discovered by synthesis in a laboratory — paving the way to the atomic age.

News & Views | | Nature

Interactive Periodic Table

2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, marking 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev ordered the elements into a table as we know it today. Our Nature Research periodic table features editors’ picks from 150 years of original research published in Nature and the Nature Research journals, commentaries and multimedia for elements 1 through 118.

Milestones |