Title:
Mathematical Mysteries of the Periodic Table

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Authors
Baez, John
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Abstract
Why do atoms behave the way they do? Why do electrons form “shells,” as seen in the periodic table? Why does the first shell hold 2 electrons, the second 8, and the third 18: twice the square numbers 1, 4, and 9? It took many years to solve these mysteries, and a lot of detective work in chemistry, physics, and ultimately – once the relevant laws of physics were known – mathematics. Other mysteries remain unsolved, like the mass of the heaviest possible element. This talk will give a quick tour of these puzzles and some of the answers.
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Date Issued
2019-04-02
Extent
65:35 minutes
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Moving Image
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Lecture
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