The Periodic Table in physics

The International Year of the periodic table marks 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev ordered the elements which led to the modern periodic table.

Physics has played a major role in the discovery of many chemical elements. From Rutherford’s Alpha Scattering experiments, which established the nuclear model of the atom, allowing the periodic table to be organised, to contemporary work to discover the super heavy transuranium elements.

Classroom Physics (September 2019) celebrated with a 4-page pull-out of classroom teaching ideas:

  • What has physics done for the periodic table? by Dr Ben Still, physics teacher and author of ‘The Secret Life of the Periodic Table’
  • Mystery shapes game: help students understand how the nuclear model of the atom came to be
  • Card model for alpha particle scattering: simulate what happened in Rutherford’s original experiment
  • Rutherford Alpha Scattering: true or false cards

Download the pullout Atoms and nuclei

Plus, look into the archives of our journal Physics Education for ideas about teaching Atoms and nuclei.

Or follow Physics Education's lead and hold a Battle of the Elements in your school - and let us know which element wins!





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