Thursday, December 16, 2010

Did I just read that?

From Fox News today: "Dr Hibbert, who is the secretary of the analytical division of IUPAC, said the periodic table was revised more often than people thought.'These things come periodically, every now and then.'"
Read more:"

These things come periodically......ha! Wait--don't the elements always appear periodically? Else why call it the Periodic Table?

This is one of the more glib, funnier chemists I've read quoted.  More:

""When we met four years ago we changed the atomic weight of zinc and this caused a bit of furore at the time, because we changed it by a relatively large amount. I know it makes for good copy, but the world hasn't just suddenly decided, like Pluto, 'we've got fed up with a couple of elements so we're going to chuck them out'."

So the Plutonians got sick of a few elements and threw them out? I didn't know there were Plutonians. I wonder if the element they got sick of was Plutonium?

Also, does he realize what he just said about other chemists?

""For most calculations, people will just carry on as before," he said. "A lot of things you do don't require that kind of precision, so we're not going to change the first year chemistry text book and probably half my colleagues won't notice that this has happened at all. The world won't in fact grind to a halt as the result of it, but, for people at my end who do worry about these things, then yes, there will be some changes in the way we do calculations.""

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