The Discovery of the Periodic Table

10 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2016 Last revised: 28 Nov 2016

Date Written: October 24, 2016


This paper was written in order to investigate the order of discoveries made in chemistry leading up to the discovery of the periodic table. New experimental techniques such as the pneumatic trough, voltaic piles, spectroscopy and potassium analysis led to the discovery of many new elements and their properties which enabled the discovery of the periodic table. The discoveries led to the demise of the classical theory of the elements, to the end of the phlogiston theory and to the creation of the modern ideas of the elements and of the atomic theory. The paper shows the discoveries were made in a necessary and inevitable order with new experimental techniques leading to the discovery of new elements which eventually led to the discovery of the periodic table.

Keywords: history of chemistry, periodic table, phlogiston theory, chemical revolution, discovery of elements, Carl Scheele, discovery of oxygen, pneumatic trough, Lavoisier, conservation of mass, Dalton, atomic theory, Avogadro, Mendeleev, Fraunhofer lines

JEL Classification: A00

Suggested Citation

Forrester, Rochelle, The Discovery of the Periodic Table (October 24, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Rochelle Forrester (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics