Answer to Question #72398 in Inorganic Chemistry for omoniyi

Question #72398
Why was the Newlands law of octaves rejected ?
Expert's answer
At the beginning of 1865, Newlands introduced to the London Chemical Society the "law of octaves": this is how he called his system of arrangement of chemical elements in increasing atomic masses. He believed that elements close in properties, like the same notes in the musical octave, can be found seven: the octave is the eighth step of a successive series of sounds. Putting in seven "octaves" all 62 elements known by then, Newlands displayed a periodic change in their properties with increasing atomic masses.
The Newlands table correctly places the first 17 elements, but further confusion begins in it. Under one number, two elements appear at once. It is quite obvious that the Cr chromium (No. 18) differs from aluminum Al (No. 11), manganese Mn (No. 20) with phosphorus P (No. 13) and arsenic As (No. 27), iron Fe (No. 21) with sulfur S (No. 14 ) and selenium Se (No. 28), meanwhile they fall into the same groups.
In 1866, Newlands spoke at a meeting of the London Chemical Society. The report on the "law of octaves" caused ridicule on the part of scientists. Distrust of members of the London Chemical Society to the Newlands system of elements was obvious, and the musical analogy made his idea more like magic than science. In addition, there were no places in the table for new, not yet open items. The journal of the chemical society rejected Newlands' article with the presentation of this report.
However, Newlands continued to struggle for recognition of its priority in the discovery of the "natural system of elements." He welcomed the Mendeleev Periodic System that appeared in 1869, treating it as a confirmation of his own table, but then began to fiercely prove his primacy. In 1884 Newlands formalized his claims in the form of an article published in the English magazine "Chemical News", but he failed to prove the priority.

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