Template talk:Infobox element

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Heat capacity: Constant volume or pressure[edit]

I brought this up in the Helium discussion. For gases, heat capacity measured under constant volume or under constant pressure need to be distinguished. The unsuspecting reader of the Helium page, for instance, will read the number and use it in his constant volume calculations and get wrong results, as the number specified is for constant pressure. But nowhere this is indicated! Therefore for gases (gaseous at measurement temperature) there should be an indication like "(const. pressure)".

Now it would be simple to change the title "Specific heat capacity" in Template:Infobox_element, but that is not what we want: 1) it would be changed in ALL element's infoboxes, even where in fact constant volume is assumed, 2) it would be shown even for non-gaseous elements where it's not wrong but irrelevant. I think the proper way would be to allow two different type of entries in the Template:Infobox_helium (for instance). It almost looks to me as somebody already tried to do something like it (there is an alternative "heat capacity 2="), but it does not do what I'm talking about.

I do not understand too much of the syntax and formalism of the template pages, so - if this can be agreed upon - can somebody more knowledgeable do the appropriate changes? WikiPidi (talk) 15:40, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

As noted on the helium talk page now, this particular helium heat capacity of 20.786 J/mole/K is exactly 2.5000 R (to 5 sig digits!), so obviously it's constant pressure heat capacity for a monatomic gas. Furthermore, exactly the same figure is given for the the other 4 noble gases Ne,Ar,Kr,Xe. This is fishy, as real substances rarely show the same heat capacity to 5 sig digits, even when it is the correct one. Even fishier still, radon is also listed as having the same heat capacity of 20.786 J/mole/K, which means this is certainly a calculated not a measured value, since nobody has collected enough radon to measure its heat capacity to that value (radon itself produces so much heat from its own decay that this would be a difficult and perilous measurement to even get an estimate for). SO at this point I have to say is TILT. Calculated values from theory should be marked so.

So we have a systemic problem not only of no conditions being marked, but a calculated value being used without warning. SBHarris 17:29, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, I answered this on my User Talk page but it did not carry forward to this place:
These values are not necessarily wrong. Kinetic gas theories show that either constant pressure or constant volume heat capacity are simple functions of physical constants (as you found, it's R*5/2, or R*3/2, respectively), i.e. independent of gas dependent parameters. So this boils down to the question of to which degree the noble gases behave like an ideal gas. AFAIK at normal conditions the deviations are really quite tiny, so I tend to believe these numbers.WikiPidi (talk) 14:03, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Did anybody ever bother to consider actually fixing this issue? WikiPidi (talk) 09:48, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Do I understand you right: the current figures and wording is not necessarily wrong, but we still need to be more specific in these elements? -DePiep (talk) 10:27, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

You mean this way:

Infobox element parameters (proposal)
row infobox parameter Links to Label (visible text) Example: He Example: Cu Unit Note
A heat capacity= Heat capacity molar heat capacity <blanked> 24.440 J·mol−1·K−1 Existing, no changes
B heat capacity (constant pressure)= Heat capacity molar heat capacity (constant pressure) 20.786 <blank> J·mol−1·K−1
C heat capacity (constant volume)= Heat capacity molar heat capacity (constant volume) x <blank> J·mol−1·K−1


  • <blank> input parameters do not show at all.
  • Exact formatting: to be decided later (first let's get the facts right)
  • Is a calculated value note, as SBHarris proposed, needed? If so, only at the new input (B, C)? -DePiep (talk) 11:03, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Elements beyond Cn[edit]

All element symbols beyond Cn are garbled: 114Uuq (Template:Infobox ununquadium) appears as 114Uu - and the "q" has disappeared. Lanthanum-138 (talk) 13:20, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Part of the "u" is chopped off! Double sharp (talk) 04:15, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Hazards and those kind of things[edit]

Allthough most of the time the information sought in this lemma will related to the element, sometimes the question might be: "How do I handle this stuff?". Is it possible to include a section, preferably in the same layout as in the template:chembox, discribing R/S or H/Pphrases and the GHSpictograms? Please T.vanschaik (talk) 14:55, 15 June 2011 (UTC)


What do you think of a section regarding the superconducting properties? I could imagine showing critical temperature and critical field at a given pressure and whether it is type I or II. Michbich (talk) 13:16, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Might be worth discussing (I am undecided yet, leaning to support). We've got a list with some data and refs here. Superconductivity is an important property even for a layperson, and we already mention some (e.g. thermal) data which look less significant to me. Materialscientist (talk) 23:32, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
This idea was motivated by my observation that the article Indium completely omits to mention the superconducting properties. (I did not check all the other articles.) Having an extension to the Infobox template will allow to quickly transfer the info from the data table into the relevant articles. Michbich (talk) 09:50, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Changed "Oxidation states" link[edit]

I could not figure out why "Oxidation states" would link to an article that starts with "Not to be confused with oxidation state."
So I changed the link from Oxidation states to Oxidation states
Hope I didn't break anything DS Belgium ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ 22:21, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 2 November 2011[edit]

On Bromine's Page there is an error on the chart to the right with the electron configuration. First off, all of the elements are wrong in this category since it is displaying noble gas configuration. Secondly, the configuration is configured in correctly. It should state [AR] 3d^10 4s^2 4p^5 (^ means to put the following characters in superscript). The page currently has swapped the 3d orbital with the 4s orbital because that is the way it follows the Aufbau diagram from the overlapping, but the correct format to write the electron configuration is lowest power level to highest. Please edit this error. I Thank you. (talk) 00:22, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: {{edit semi-protected}} is not required for edits to semi-protected, unprotected pages, or pending changes protected pages. The formula can be changed at Template:Infobox bromine. — Bility (talk) 16:23, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Liquids and gases[edit]

Why do liquids appear as blue and gases as green? Liquids should appear as green and gases as red (per Template:Periodic table). Double sharp (talk) 04:20, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Infoboxes created using this templete now tagged for deletion[edit]

Would somebody like to explain to me why? I do not see any violation of the MoS. [1]. I do not find the separate editing of infoboxes onerous, and it has many things to recommend it, like ease of formatting. Infoboxes exist for a reason. Templates to make them exist for a reason. SBHarris 23:08, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Oh I'd guess it's over redundancy, per WP:TFD#REASONS. I figured some of the template purists would get to these eventually. Regards, RJH (talk) 23:14, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't see anything there that requires that the result of template-making be always substituted instead of transcluded. Indeed, substitution has a list of drawbacks, some of which apply here: [2]. SBHarris 23:58, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

History section added[edit]

After a good discussion and a sandboxing match, I added a History section (discovery and such). Talk was at [3]. -DePiep (talk) 22:57, 24 June 2012 (UTC).

Mass Number[edit]

I wanted to add a mass number section, but thought I would discuss it here first. It was a request that was featured in the feedbacks. --Farzaneh (talk) 18:06, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

I've put he template code 1:1 into {{infobox element/sandbox}}. Go ahead! -DePiep (talk) 20:23, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
But wait. I am not into this, please clarify. There is:
  1. Mass number
  2. Atomic mass (hatnote: Not to be confused with atomic weight)
  3. Atomic weight is redirected to: Relative atomic mass (hatnote: Not to be confused with atomic mass)
a. So #2 has a hatnote to a redirect. Is that OK?
b. Relative atomic mass "Not to be confused with atomic mass" eh, it is a Redirect from there?! How do we dis-confuse?
c. Somewhere, not too far off, the difference between mass number and relative atomic mass must be made clear to a reader (e.g. me). -DePiep (talk) 20:37, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree that it is rather confusing. So, mass number is a number; the number of certain particles. Just like the other two, it can be different in the isotopes of an element. Atomic mass is the mass of a given isotope. Atomic Weight a.k.a Relative atomic mass is a standard referring to the average atomic mass of an element published by some standardisation body. These two are a little confusing, but mass number less so, as it refers to the total number of protons and neutrons in an isotope of an atom. Arguably, it is a property of an isotope rather than an element, but it is commonly associated with the most common isotope of a given element. So I think it can be added, and later expanded to include different isotopes for heavier elements. --Farzaneh (talk) 18:30, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Or here is another idea: have the mass number in the isotope-specific section. So contributors can add it for any isotope they see fit.--Farzaneh (talk) 18:48, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Step 1: I see [4] in the sandbox. That would give, after my -weird number- edit [5], this: {{Infobox lead/sandbox}}. -DePiep (talk) 20:23, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I like how it looks.--Farzaneh (talk) 22:47, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
(Wait. That is not the "isotopic-specific section". It is the "general properties" section. Is there something I do not get yet?). -DePiep (talk) 20:26, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Right. I first put it in the general section, and then thought it might be a good idea to have a different mass number for every isotope. Will now move it to the isotope-specific section. --Farzaneh (talk) 22:47, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
If it is isotope specific, it should be added to each isotope row (subtemplate prepare, individual element templates edit). They are:
Prepare for a tough talk & test, likely at WT:ELEM. -DePiep (talk) 23:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Step 2: disentangle "atomic mass", "atomic weight", "relative atomic mass". -DePiep (talk) 20:34, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
What do you think is a good way of making it clearer? All three articles explicitly say that the concepts should not be confused. When we have the new template entry, the fields will have different values and different units. Also, relative atomic mass is a property of an element, but the other two are properties of every isotope, so that would also help clarify. --Farzaneh (talk) 22:47, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't know! I was asking you. It is not clear to me. WT:ELEM? -DePiep (talk) 23:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Conversion to Template:Infobox[edit]

The conversion to {{Infobox}} format has been done recently in the Chinese Wikipedia at zh:Template:Infobox element. It may be copied here with translation and slight changes. Yinweichen (talk) 23:09, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Yinweichen well, I took the bait! Below are talks about my version. -DePiep (talk) 10:34, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Check your favorite element[edit]

You can take a good look at how your favorite element will look like in the new proposed {{Infobox element/sandbox}}. You are invited to check and comment. The example element is gold (and helium is a nice example). Page Testcases contains a demo with all parameters used.

For the example element gold, 74Au, pages of interest are:

ibox E
ibox E
{{Infobox gold}} or ibox (E to edit)
{{Infobox gold/sandbox}} /s
{{Infobox gold/testcases}} /t
(These page links can also be found at Template:Infobox gold, bottom of documentation page).

By preview[edit]

ibox E

To see the new infobox for gold:

1. Open {{infobox gold}} to edit (E)
2. Change top line:
{{infobox element
{{infobox element/sandox
3. Preview
4. Check, enjoy and respond
(Of course, you should not save the sandbox version in the live page).

By sandbox page[edit]

ibox E

The sandbox page saves the new version. This allows for more checks.

1. Open the {{infobox gold}} to edit (E)
2: Copy all code
3. Open {{Infobox gold/sandbox}}, to edit or to create (/s)
4. Paste the full code
5. Change top line code
{{infobox element
{{infobox element/sandbox
6. (Option for some page speed: remove the {{documentation}} line at the bottom)
7. Save
8. Check, enjoy and respond

To compare old/new side-by-side[edit]

ibox E
1. Create #By sandbox page as described
2. Open {{Infobox gold/testcases}} (/t)
3. Enter this text:
{{Infobox element/testcases header}}
4. Save
5. Check, enjoy and respond

Notes for the side-by-side comparision[edit]

Some notes about this side-by-side check of {{Infobox element}} layout, as presented in {{Infobox gold/testcases}}. Quality of this comparision depends on: make sure that the /sandbox is a copy of the live code (that is, {{infobox gold}} input is copied into {{Infobox gold/sandbox}}). Then the /t (/testcases) page has a diff link to show the diff. The live {{infobox gold}} can be improved at any time, as wiki goes. But do not edit that infobox to adjust presentation to the new proposal. (The new general {{infobox element}} layout & handling must cover that all, correctly).

  • Recap
  1. Edit the live infobox for facts as you think needed
  2. No need to edit the live infobox to fix layout issues
  3. For good quality check, keep the sandbox and live {infobox gold} the same. (/sandbox follows live code; then use {{Infobox element/sandbox|...)
  4. Report any issues and questions here.


Boxelement names

Some image caption
label data
label data(line1)<br>

In a scientific value we have value=number_unit. Never ever the space is may be a newline (so, a nowrap in between). See also {{convert}} for this.

Let's say a "value" is the "number+unit" part. (for the infobox, "data" makes the whole righthand cell still).

Change Infobox element to use {{Infobox}}[edit]

We have some 125 element infoboxes (see Category:Periodic table infobox templates). All are using the metatemplate {{Infobox element}}; the master template, basically a table-building box. I am preparing to change that master box into a standard {{Infobox}} (Template:Infobox is the mastertemplate, the enwiki standard for all infoboxes).

The changes are coded in {{Infobox element/sandbox}}. Below I'll describe the changes. Some questions are open. You can check changes for your favorite element going #Check your favorite element. For any favorite element, you can preview and check all changes. Please do so. -DePiep (talk) 13:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Changes/new formatting[edit]

  • Use {{Infobox}}, the enwiki standard infobox formatter. We leave the handcrafted HTML table buildup. {Infobox} nicely formats all boxelements like headers and data by HTML styles and classes. It serves screen variants and mobile devices well (they say). It has the nice feature of "no data, no row show". Our new infobox will use all of these features. It is from a high-order design, and I trust it. I feel no need to re-create specific layout.
  • Title, abovetext and subtitle. Help me. I have not figured out how to present these boxelements. Of course "Gold" should appear in top somewhere, but what with "75Au" or "Au"? Suggestion are welcome.
  • Font coloring. Removed (the font color of header texts, like the green for liquids). These all black now: no legend, made bad contrast, unimportant property.
  • Section changes. The infobox will open with the element picture. That is element-specific and I think that should be the flag attraction (what would a reader expect to see when clicking silver?). The periodic table has moved lower, because that is more of a classification (so less element-specific). Other PT-properties have moved in there too. It is a section now ("Gold in the periodic table"). But I'm not sure about exactly which data should go where. Suggestions anyone?
  • The Appearance section header is gone, because we don't need a header that says something like: 'this is a picture'. The 'appearance' data (text) stays. Also, each image has a caption, below the image and so less confusing (unchanged, but it will get a more clear position).
  • Value presentation. This is about out scientific facts, not layout or makeup. It is where the numbers and units must show good & great.
Having seen most the infoboxes and all their data, I think we we need these options by structure:
-or, with more data-
The prefix usually is entered in the number parameter like |boiling point K=white: 127. It is like |crystal structure prefix=white:). By sense, this should be an unbracketed specifier. (alpha/beta; white/black). It should not be a at-state detail (bad to show "(2 °C)" as a prefix).
The number+unit (=value) is the core. Will no wrap any more. Even when multiple (K/C/F, or K+Pa) this is core.
An at-state detail (like "(at 25 °C)") should be a suffix and bracketed. This is not a specifier, so reduce importance.
Any reference must be after the value, not before the unit (as it is today). So we write: 12 MPa[1] not 12[1] MPa any more. For this, most parameters now have their new reference option: |Melting point ref=<ref>some reference here</ref>. After the big template change, all element infoboxes can splice the ref into this separate parameter. Then they will show the effect.
Any _comment goes at the end of all the input, and without any edits (no brackets or italics are added ever). But sometimes a newline <br> is inserted, after multiple values like with |electron configuration comment=. When any comment needs a reference, it can be added to the _comment parameter directly (no separate parameter). -DePiep (talk) 13:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)


Using the new _ref and _comment parameters:
heat capacity=680<ref>...</ref> ''(extrapolated)'' now produces:
Molar heat capacity 680[1] (extrapolated) J·mol−1·K−1 Red XN


heat capacity=680 (number only)
heat capacity ref=<ref>...</ref> (new; the <ref>...</ref> link belongs after the unit)
heat capacity comment=''(extrapolated)'' (new; any free text, will be at end of the value line after a space).
Molar heat capacity 680 J·mol−1·K−1[1] (extrapolated) Green tickY
More complicated
heat capacity 2=alpha: 680 (number + prefix)
heat capacity 2 ref=<ref>...</ref> (note: the "_ref" is a suffix, after the "2")
heat capacity 2 comment=''(extrapolated)<ref>...another...</ref>'' (can have its own reference; "_comment" is a suffix).
Molar heat capacity alpha: 680 J·mol−1·K−1[1] (extrapolated)[2] Green tickY
boiling point K=275
boiling point ref=<ref name="Haire"/<> (no unit "K" for the "_ref")
boiling point comment=(comment is for after three temperatures) (no unit "K" for the "_comment")

&tc. -DePiep (talk) 10:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Changes in parameters[edit]

This list is outdated and incomplete


Naming scheme: ("_ref" is the suffix as in |melting point ref=)

  • Technically:

All parameters should show correctly before and after the move. Only formatting can change. After the move, all the templates can be edited to show the references in new form (after the unit). (so, split the reference link from |boiling point= to new |boiling point ref=. Name change params: both names are accepted in the new version. Then there is a period where we can change the para names per template. A next version will not use the old parms any more. This is not an issue. -DePiep (talk) 13:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

To compare: (page Template:Infobox <element>/testcases):


Thanks. Comments also appear at Wikipedia talk:Elements. -DePiep (talk) 12:02, 19 July 2014 (UTC)


Yes check.svg Done [6] -DePiep (talk) 20:06, 30 July 2014 (UTC)