User talk:R8R Gtrs

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If I write to you, I'll put your talk page on my watchlist.

If you write to me, then I'll answer in here.

I prefer to keep the discussion in one place and not scattered across various pages.
I can ping you or discuss anywhere if asked, but by default I will follow the rules above.


what the JINR thought of IUPAC's decisions on the discoveries of Z=113,115,117,118[edit]

I only just found this! (^_^)

They say that they would have expected joint priority with RIKEN for Z=113 (citing Z=103, 104, 105 as precedents), and reiterate their claims for synthesizing 288115 in 2013 which alpha decays to 284113. Interestingly, they say "We are glad for our colleagues from RIKEN especially, because the leader of the work, Prof. K.Morita is to a certain extent the trainee of Dubna; here, in JINR he for quite a long time learned the basics of synthesis of new elements. However, the method of synthesizing the superheavy elements [cold fusion], chosen by RIKEN researchers is completely exhausted; moreover, today they plan future experiments using only the method proposed in Dubna [hot fusion]." I suppose that you were right in saying in 2013 that this way Japan will get some more money from the government to use on synthesizing superheavy elements, instead of only Russia getting it. And I must say that their perseverance with 278113, as it took ten years to produce four atoms, really impresses me! The JINR wrote: 'As to the experiment of our Japanese colleagues, this will hardly be reproduced by anyone, since production of a millisecond-living isotope that demands several years of beam time for observing a single nucleus looks not a very promising activity.'

The JWP says of this that 'The 2004 collaboration of Oganessian et al. at Dubna was approximately contemporaneous with that of Morita et al. at RIKEN. The Dubna results in combination with the 2007 collaboration are encouraging but do not meet the Criteria for discovery because of the paucity of events, the lack of connections to known nuclides, and the absence of cross-reactions', and respond to later confirmations of 288115 (and hence its daughter 284113) that 'Despite the relatively large productivity, the energy dependence providing a picture of the excitation function is not illuminating. That is, “a yield curve: production cross section as a function of energy of the particle impinging upon a target nucleus” [1] was not considered statistically compelling...the Criteria (q.v. [1]) have not been met as there is no mandatory identification of the chain atomic numbers neither through a known descendant nor by cross reaction. Chemical determinations as detailed in the subsequent profile of Z = 115 where they are documented, serving the important role of assigning atomic number are insufficiently selective although certainly otherwise informative.' They do seem to place high priority on cross-reactions, for that is why the discovery of element 115 they recognise is only that of 289,290115, daughters of 293,294117, from 2010, and that is what has changed in the discovery situation of 294118. Double sharp (talk) 04:27, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

P.S. Regarding Z=119,120, they say 'Further progress of these studies here in JINR is connected with the development in our institute of the first in the world Factory of Superheavy Elements. This is to be based on the new accelerator of heavy ions, the most powerful in this energy range, with intensity 10 times higher than has been achieved by today, that will allow to set goals of synthesizing new elements with atomic number 119 and 120 and further, that are the first elements of the eighth period of D.I.Mendeleev Periodic Table.' Double sharp (talk) 04:30, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing! I was surprised to learn the "Moscow region" element 115 is going to be named after comprises both Moscow and the oblast around it (I assumed that nobody except Wikipedia uses the word "oblast" in English; the English equivalent would be---guess what---"region".)
Well, "oblast" is in the Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries, but I don't think too many people use it. I could be totally wrong about this. Double sharp (talk) 11:51, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Re element 113: the site also says, "However, our position regarding the decision on element 113 will be determined only after the reports of the IUPAC-IUPAP JWP are officially published and studied in detail." Are the said reports out already? I can't find them on my first look. I quite see the Dubna's point on why they are disappointed to not have been recognized as co-discoverers. This story can make a very interesting addiction to ununtrium (one of those things I like to put into articles and which enhance the impression on the reader that the article is well-researched and/or interesting to read; this one even makes me want to possibly go for FA with this one). --R8R (talk) 08:31, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I posted them at WT:ELEM#Elements 117 and 118: name endings: part one, part two. (P.S. I think you mean addition?) Double sharp (talk) 11:51, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I missed that one. Thank you! (I just made my initial attempt to find any reaction from Dubna to these and I wasn't lucky. I wonder if such a reaction will appear later?)--R8R (talk) 17:21, 20 June 2016 (UTC)--R8R (talk) 17:21, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
P.S. Very interesting about how you found an old proposal of mine. (Just to be clear---I absolutely don't mind you editing the page.) This made me rethink how terrible my English was back then :) or my skill of addressing a reader outside the encyclopedic style (which, as you might think, is useful far outside Wiki). Too bad I can't find my comment from 2013, where is it from or what was the context?--R8R (talk) 08:31, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
I vaguely remembered that you wrote something like that, so I searched your subpages via Special:PrefixIndex/User:R8R_Gtrs.
Oh yes, your English has gotten much better since then! But I still love your sincerity when writing it. Here is your 2013 comment. (^_^) Double sharp (talk) 11:51, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! You know, I started editing the English Wikipedia in 2010(?) for two reasons: it already had more information and therefore it was easier to link your additions to what was already there, and to improve my English (besides, most English-speaking communities are friendlier than Russian-speaking ones). Not so long ago I caught myself thinking that now my English isn't improving, and it isn't (unfortunately) absolutely great, but at least has improved to a level at which others have no trouble or (I hope) initial antipathy against me because of my level of English.
Wow, I looked in the archives of Talk:Ununtrium and your talk page, but not mine :) Yes, I still stand by what I said back then. A few years ago, I read a few stories on how scientists work to convince the state and commercial sponsors to fund their research (sometimes approaches differed, sometimes they didn't). I was impressed (though now it doesn't seem surprising to me at all). Now that I'm studying into a university and as such have communicated with quite a few professors (including one who works for an institution subordinate to the RAS) and discussed their fields of interest/research, I am even more confident about that.--R8R (talk) 17:21, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

P.S. I cannot resist quoting The Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements to support you on how Pu is unique and hard to classify, like H, He, C, and Rn:

Powerful stuff! Double sharp (talk) 14:44, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Beautiful words. Thankfully the Cold War is over, and even with the current tension in the Russian--American relations, a second Cuba crisis seems absolutely impossible now. What is also interesting is that many renewable energy proponents believe that atomic energy should go, not only for environmental, but for economic reasons as well. This makes me wonder what will a popular view of plutonium will be like when I am old.--R8R (talk) 17:28, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

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Regarding lanthanum[edit]

Since it is the poster child of the lanthanides (really, that's kind of the reason why I care about doing it more than I care about the other lanthanides except the unusual Ce), I'm now wondering: since the chemistry can basically be summarised as "typical lanthanide", how much detail should I go into since lanthanide covers what the normal situation is? Double sharp (talk) 10:32, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

P.S. Current draft at User:Double sharp/Lanthanum. Double sharp (talk) 10:44, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Depends on your goal. As for me, I currently have no interest in improving articles to anything other than near-FA quality. To achieve that with a metal article, what has been done for lead is what I would consider the minimum to satisfy me with what's been done. (I wouldn't go even to GAN with lutetium today, for one, but that's because when I am concerned with an article, a to-be GA at the moment I am ready to submit it to GAN is not too far from FAC anyway, see astatine or ununseptium.)
In case of lanthanum, this would probably include a small introduction text of 1--2 small paras ("Lanthanum's chem is dominated by a tendency to form the +3 state, blah blah"), and a number of subsections: atomic configuration (the new f block begins, so you may say a word on how 4f electrons influence heavier metals, but no f electrons here, you can mention Aufbau and group 3 dispute and its history), reactivity, general character of La3+ ions: solubility of salts, color, etc., maybe a short subsection on the oxide (mention Goldschimdt here if you haven't already), subsection on compounds like the halides, the sulfide, etc., and a small subsection on La compunds beyond La(III). This is what I would call a decent Chemical section for lanthanum. (I also think it makes more sense to include general chemical characteristics into the same section as compounds, rather than keep them among physical ones.)--R8R (talk) 11:29, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I originally intended GA, but for me chemistry is so important when getting to know an element – it's like getting to know someone's personality – that I could not stand to write an incomplete chemistry section. (Although we already sort of have a REM FA with Y that I could learn from.) I suppose I do have an A kind of attitude about this. Despite the FA-phobia which I'm trying to cure, the content must be there!
Yeah, I like that thinking! Though I'll say it took me writing three FAs to realize you don't need an article to follow (though it's not bad to get some basic ideas) to produce a good one. You already know the basics, and then you try to research for info on that element you could use, or find something you didn't originally plan to use, but would love to (the element 113 and Dubna's skepticism about not having been recognized, or that link you recently posted, with how element 105 was consistently treated differently in the Cold-War West and East, and that the IUPAC even had to invent their systematic names to help that, and even that didn't resolve the problem, and now I want to FA dubnium...see, this kind of stuff is interesting to me, and I want to share it in a good manner, hence editing Wiki in first place...maybe not in first place, but certainly now...what else? Lead's history, fluorine's global warming---there's lots of great stuff.) Wiki editing allows a part of creativity---which is great and makes me want to keep on (starting in July, I hope).
The way I usually think about those sections, after looking at ones you have worked on (e.g. Pb), is that you start with the electron configuration. For La, this is [Xe]5d16s2, so 5d and 6s get lost to form +3, which dominates chemistry. Then you look at the trends: it's below Sc and Y and should be larger, and then there is the lanthanide contraction, so it is the largest (and hence most reactive, least volatile, most basic, etc.) lanthanide. Since La3+ is just the xenon core, it must be colourless. Thus La is a hard base and mostly does ionic bonding, so coordination complexes and organometallics are not big things. (It's not like Pb when you can write several paragraphs about the whole relativity thing...La is pretty straightforward.) In some sense though I am worried that if I write something as huge as the thorium compounds section, then I'm taking over the work that ought to be done for the articles on those compounds (since they already have articles). Anyway it would be quite repetitive: all the lanthanum halides are prepared the same way, you get the oxide by burning it, from that you get the hydroxide from water and the carbonate from carbon dioxide. Now I get why Greenwood and Earnshaw devotes only ten pages to group 3! >_<
Maybe. But actually try and there's a chance there's room for more than you'd expect. Also, G&E were writing a chemical printed (and there so many limitations in that word alone) book, not 120 all-encompassing articles :)
Goldschmidt is a good catch, but it might be better in occurrence. This way I can start by saying La2O3 stays at the surface and doesn't sink down into the core, so it's not rare: the problem is separating it out (which is easier for La than the others: it has only one neighbouring lanthanide, Ce, and that can be separated because of its possible tetravalency).
I'd imagine Goldschmidt to be very briefly mentioned with an immediate anchor to the Occurrence section. Or maybe not. Just try and see if it works. I did it with lead, and I decided not to. So I don't insist.
This would be a nice easy explanation of the 4f issue for any other lanthanide, but uniquely for La it's a little trivial: there aren't any 4f electrons, so the problem doesn't arise. It does make a difference like I already wrote (no f-electrons means dramatically less magnetic properties than the others, and the melting point is lower because there's no hybridisation with 4f). What has happened here is that 4f contracts and reduces in energy only after La (I should add that to the old list of arguments for Sc/Y/La/Ac), and at Ce the effect is still small enough that we get 4f15d16s2 instead of 4f26s2. So this is more of a thing I would talk about on Ce than on La.
Regarding the group 3 issue, I have the idea to take Sc/Y/La/Ac as the default just for this article, so that I can compare it with more elements and look at the trend going down group 3 in that form.
I think that for a really good article, it's best to not make assumptions when you can describe the situation in whole. Again, I regret having written lutetium the way I did. By the way, I remember Jensen argue La has some f character; you'd want to check for that, I think?
Yeah, I recall that you were quite a heavy Sc/Y/Lu/Lr partisan back then, and it shows in group 3 element.
I suppose part of this is that Greenwood&Earnshaw and Holleman&Wiberg both have La below Y. (My mental periodic table still has it that way through habit! I never saw Lu there before WebElements and later Wikipedia.) Actually, writing the La article makes me think that it is mostly a size issue: the lanthanide contraction is the reason why Lu looks more similar (it's between Sc and Y in size), and therefore the binary compound structures are more similar. But Sc is not exactly like Lu (it is too small), and the same size-related issues can be found in other groups. Ba doesn't behave like Mg, and CsCl even has a different structure from NaCl. So Sc/Y/La makes sense from that perspective. Even if it is not the primary relationship we show in our PT, it is one nonetheless that you can draw a trend in, and so it is kind of useful to note in the La article, as a vertical trend to add to the horizontal one.
(Please note, I'm not arguing yet again that we should have La below Y on WP in general. I'm just saying that it is a legitimate view.) Double sharp (talk) 15:36, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
You didn't type anything I wouldn't agree with except for this: "Regarding the group 3 issue, I have the idea to take Sc/Y/La/Ac as the default." You still can discuss the Sc-Y-La trend and that doesn't contradict the statement that the group 3 ends with -Lu-Lr or -*-** or anything. And the group 3 composition is a question still worth discussing in detail in lanthanum; just don't oversimplify things.--R8R (talk) 15:42, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh dear, I'm not thinking clearly, am I?
I suppose I just want a licence to call Y a lighter congener of La and discuss La2O3 by comparing it with Y2O3 like I am currently doing in the sandbox. It does make things easier. I will certainly add a subsection in characteristics regarding the periodic table issue, and cover it there. Double sharp (talk) 15:51, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
The thing is, you don't need a license. It's all obvious. Or if you still need something, give a general context of having a noble gas shell plus three electrons (you can do it once and readers will remember that).--R8R (talk) 16:02, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I know what you mean regarding characteristics. But if the section is called "characteristics", then it should be about all properties of La metal, so my current loophole is to have compounds directly under characteristics and only then have history and the remainder. Double sharp (talk) 13:57, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I think I've said that before, but I believe titles should not dictate content alignment; content should align itself and only then get titles for that alignment. You'd naturally want history in a separate section, and then you invent the title "History." Analogously, I'd naturally want to have chemistry located all in its own section and I'd call that "Chemical properties." And I'd want to have isotope and bulk properties together and I'd call that "Physical properties." Or in some cases atomic properties could have their own section---but hydrogen and helium became FA before I even joined WP Elements. And so on.--R8R (talk) 14:47, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


Okay, now I have a decent (but not great) article for La, so the green plus sticker can be obtained. Nevertheless, unlike In, I care enough to continue!

From what I read, La has no f electrons in the metallic, gaseous, or ionic forms, and this has an effect on the melting point, for instance. (The melting point is dependent on the extent of 4f-and-5d6s hybridisation, so it makes sense that Ce, being [Xe]4f15d16s2, has the lowest melting point, while the trend is for the melting points to go up as more and more electrons are stuffed into 4f. The exceptions are of course Eu and Yb, which are divalent metals and hence have weaker metallic bonding: ignoring them, La has the second-lowest one.) And the La+ ion has configuration [Xe]5d2 in the ground state! La2+ is [Xe]5d1, and obviously La3+ is [Xe]. (The homologous Ac loses the d-electrons first instead.) If you compare this with the other lanthanides, you find that La is the only one that shoves all the electrons into 5d and 6s in all its ions, and never touches 4f at all. (Even Ce2+ is [Xe]4f2.)

If 4f is not occupied in any La ion (like 7p in Th), then it must be destabilised enough that its occupation is not yet energetically feasible until it suddenly contracts and falls in energy at Ce (and even then, it's not enough to avoid getting a [Xe]4f15d16s2 configuration). We also have Gschneider's paper "The Theory of Phase Formation in Rare Earth Metal Systems" (Teoretyczne podstawy tworzenia faz w układach metali ziem rzadkich), which says "La has an empty localized [core-like] 4f shell". Double sharp (talk) 07:54, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Not stopping forever after getting the sticker is great. However, I still have to see the GA--break--FA scheme to work, because lead is the first such article, and it's not yet finished. (By the way, it's nice to know you'll get to it next week (did I get that correct?); I hope I'll start working on it next week as well.) I may change my attitude after, say, five articles have undergone this, from which we are currently five articles away.
Very interesting on 4f and La. Nice to know. (No joke, I just don't know how to react so it's more apparent.) Will you mention that in lanthanum?--R8R (talk) 08:26, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh yes, certainly! Double sharp (talk) 16:11, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Precious anniversary[edit]

A year ago ...
Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg
Astatine and Alexei Navalny
... you were recipient
no. 1250 of Precious,
a prize of QAI!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:48, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

old Soviet popular science books always have such beautiful prose[edit]

I looked and I fell in love instantly Double sharp (talk) 16:07, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

I remember I liked the books I had as a child. In general, yes, the writing looks similar to them, so... nice to know this liking can be related to :) --R8R (talk) 17:44, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

regarding the "bismuth stability problem"[edit]

It even has a chemical analogue, which I like to call the "astatine problem", and it will occur every time you want to talk about the four halogens. I just never think of astatine as one. If you gave me a moment to think, I'd say "well, yes, astatine is a halogen", and yet I mentally keep thinking of only F, Cl, Br, and I, because I have never needed to know about astatine's properties. Like all the radioactives, it's a niche thing, and unless you work in that little niche, or are curious enough to read about it (which is somewhat my situation for the superheavies), you'll never need to know anything about At. (Actually, this explains why so many people say At is a black solid; because the chemist's main escape route in doubt is to pretend to be Mendeleev.) For instance, in my sandbox (which is now given over to iodine, now that I have a little time to spend here again: don't worry, I will not abandon this at GA), I have just mentally corrected myself right after typing innumerable statements like "Iodine is the largest of the halogens", "Iodine is the weakest oxidising agent among the halogens", "Iodine has the lowest electronegativity of the halogens", and so on. It's almost equally annoying. Double sharp (talk) 10:55, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, I see what you mean. I think of halogens of "F, Cl, Br, I" at first, but always think of At as of a halogen. This teaches, however, to pay respect to weight of different facts (for example, I try to downplay the instability of bismuth because what instability is even that). I can't suggest a way out because I can't think of one. Just have that in mind, I guess.
By the way, I recommend doing editing in the main page of any article. Any good, even incomplete, edit will survive a few days to see its conclusion and you have that undo button (my incomplete edits in lead live long enough to complete them). The readers get quality slowly improved, not having to wait for Uses to be done to get that Isotopes update (for example). Big edits are somewhat surprising (in a negative way) for editors who watch that article. Besides, you'll paste it there, anyway.--R8R (talk) 19:41, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
Are you telling me this because of what happened when you first rewrote F? ^_^ I get what you mean, but because I'm rewriting so much (really, why can't the article start with the basics? I can understand it for Th, or even more obviously Cn or Fl, but iodine is really well-known and so we should start writing from the level the element is first covered.) So the structure needs an almost complete overhaul. Double sharp (talk) 13:36, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you got that right :) But over time, I did wholeheartedly agree with the idea you can do any edits straight in the main article. There's also a template that says something like "I'm editing this, sorry if it looks not perfect, it's under construction"
Think about it: for any element of an article you change, most of the time after you first touched it, it's done and can go live. Try thinking of anything you do as an improvement (that's the plan, right?) or preparation to making an improvement which will follow soon (because it will). I have rewritten parts of lead from scratch (History, Chemical properties) and each change immediately went live. Nothing bad happened :)
You do have an initial plan. You may start with one section, and move onto another, etc, even though some info may be given twice (the case of lead; in the review I've planned for thorium, it will also happwn, but we will we (in this case, most probably, this will be you) will fix it. Or you may start with remaking the structure and only then change the content, also fine. There are no unavoidable obstacles in writing right in the article. Besides, this is a better motivation in long term.--R8R (talk) 15:07, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

future plans[edit]

I know it is no closer to happening than it was when I first got the idea, but here's what Greenwood and Earnshaw has to say on p.1070: "The triad Fe, Ru, and Os is dominated, as indeed is the whole block of transition elements, by hte immense importance of iron. This element has been known since perhistoric times and no other metal has played a more important role in man's material progress." It might not be pretty like Au, but Fe is truly a good, solid citizen that deserves the FA!

Notice that I conveniently avoid the question of how to make it happen. I could do a minor cleanup now by making the referencing solid, but that will only get us a GA sticker. How can we leave this great worker among the transition metals dangling like this? (Gold is the king. Iron is the good proletarian! ^_^)

I have half the mind to continue the series of metals of antiquity after I finish Pb with you by doing Cu instead of my old Li/Be idea, to get another GA to FA standards. (I do have questions about it now, but those are mostly physical/chemical rather than historical. I'll just note for now that the article is surprisingly reticent about why copper is such a good conductor and why it is so malleable!) It has an even older pedigree than Pb. Historically, the next discoveries in ancient times are Au, Ag, Fe, C, Sn, S, and Hg. (Zn, As, and Sb were also known but not recognised as elements.)

What does this show? Things are worse than we thought! Of these, carbon is a terrible GA that should really be C-class; gold, tin, and sulfur are actually C-class; silver is B-class, though it is worse than iron which is also B-class. Mercury is the only other GA among the ancient metals. (Among the borderline cases, zinc is an FA, antimony is a GA, and arsenic is a B. By the way, if anyone wants to GA arsenic, there's an old failed GA review on the talk page that already gives some hints.) It's true that we are one of those very rare WikiProjects whose core set of articles (the known 118) are all high-view (I suppose Solar System is also like that with the planets, and they have the Sun and all planets at FA already...). But we have done a spectacular job at being somewhat self-indulgent and avoiding the main-group elements and the ancient metals everyone knows. I know you have redeemed yourself with fluorine, I soon will have with thorium, and we will together with lead, but it's still really funny.

P.S. I can't resist quoting Greenwood and Earnshaw again, p.547: "The properties of arsenic sulfide and related compounds have been known to physicians and professional poisoners since the fifth century BC though their use is no longer recommended by either group of practitioners." *stifles giggle* Double sharp (talk) 13:53, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

P.S. Arsenic is a bit like radium. (Not the elements, their articles.) They're both B-class articles that are useful to the reader but need non-trivial work to get to GA and become coherent, reasonably complete pieces. Gallium needs less work, but one thing I really want to fix is the applications. Which are really useful applications and which aren't? (This is when it would be nice to have Ullmann!) Surely GaAs semiconductors are not on a par with the silly gallium-spoon prank! I'm thinking about these easy ones because they will make it look like we are GA-ing important elements, when I am actually carefully selecting the ones that are already closest to GA to give the impression that more is being done. (Although I wonder how much these pretenses of activity are going to convince the possible newcomers that we're not dead, but just resting. Already I am the only one responsible for everything on the announcements list, and while the GA backlog will ensure they all stey there for a while, it can't last. I have a life that I do need to get back to at some point!) Double sharp (talk) 14:39, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I haven't carefully read the whole post (I will in a few hours), but for now, you can email me, right? There must be a link "email this user" or something like that in the left bar next to my userpage. Do so and I'll send you my archive of Chemistry papers (including Ullmann, though I doubt there will be anything else that you would find important)--R8R (talk) 17:17, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I'll send you an email soon.
I added citations to Fe, but did not touch the content (aside from a little chemistry and physical properties). While it now at least tries to conform to the letter of the GA criteria I'd still think that expanding the history would be a priority here (really, it has an age named after it, and it gets only a few sentences? Surely not!!) But it's good to see that after idly considering the idea for years I finally started doing something about Fe (perhaps next target after Th and Pb?). Double sharp (talk) 07:34, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I've read the whole thing.
First of all, I must say that when an article has a green plus, this plus demotivates me (and anyone) from improving it. That's why I am against GAing articles in advance. Hope this is not the case for you (but I must say, I doubt it). I advocate against the proposal at the project's talk page. We don't need to show that our activity is bursting like a wild fire. Think it's far more important to show that things simply get going (remember the project in 2009 and 2010). Again, a plus left alone will probably remain a plus forever. We're doing that conversion, but the two of us can't do it all. And that plus collecting won't really improve the articles, since they're good already. Don't think it's a good thing to do with so many articles left. (Speaking of which, I think iron is best to get to FA in one shot, as is everything.)
Iron is awesome. An article that should, of course, be an FA. I'd actually love to join the party. If only it wasn't for spare time issues, and lead, and thorium...
Do the re-rating then, it'll better reflect the reality. Even a GAR for carbon is fine (chlorine did undergo through one).
By the way, good thinking about how if you feel that the how of good conductivity of copper is missing ;)--R8R (talk) 09:37, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Don't worry, it's not like that for me. I complain so much about lame chemistry sections, after all (look at Hf or Ru...). I look at carbon and I don't think "oh, this is a GA, I don't need to do anything!"; I think, "this could be so much better", and get disappointed. Actually, this might be why WP Chemicals has such little respect for GA/FA – a perception that it privileges style over substance. And goodness knows they would get more of that than us, working on lower-view articles! (Remember TCO's old presentation, where he notes that low-view FAs get inadequate content review?) I get that it has low societal rewards to improve a GA you did not produce yourself to FA, and it would have even lower societal rewards to fix an inadequate GA, because the end result is that it is still GA. (Maybe I have to do something like that. Maybe ruthenium, since I've complained about it already? It is quite cool, forming Ru2+ and Ru3+ like Fe, as well as RuO2−
, but also going reluctantly to RuO4, truly being a good "middle sister" of its triad. Also I suspect you might like that choice due to its etymology! ^_-☆)
Carbon certainly deserves to be an FA. Maybe later though. I want to get it there (but I want to do more than I actually can... maybe later though?). Ruthenium... Well, maybe, but I'm not sure about this one. At the moment, I want to go for high-importance articles (+super-controversial dubnium! and maybe moscovium). Maybe when I'm sick of them...--R8R (talk) 17:18, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I dunno, I always felt ruthenium was more important than dubnium or moscovium. The latter two might be more recent, but ruthenium has the benefit of actually being usable in the real world. Maybe this is a viewpoint privileging chemistry over history, kind of like an element's personality over its interactions with humans. But I totally understand the desire to do moscovium after the element 117 that you put so much work into writing about was named by someone who wasn't even involved in the actual work of synthesis...(I'm still somewhat annoyed about that)! Double sharp (talk) 08:27, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
True, but I already made up my mind about Db... let's say these are exceptions. Dubnium has that super-interesting story you posted a link to (I am excited about this one), and moscovium... I just think this one will be relatively cheap in terms of effort. Maybe when I get to a SHE in the range of 113-118, it will be nihonium because it has an interesting story of competition behind it.--R8R (talk) 08:38, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
I'll be honest: if chalcogen can survive a GAR, than I have completely lost faith in that process. It's not working as it should when editors who are clearly well-versed in the topic (e.g. Axiosaurus) raise problems and it gets interpreted as elitism to dare to suggest that editors with more chemistry expertise are needed! It truly makes me annoyed! But of course, "periodic table fans" will rush in where angels (i.e. Greenwood and Earnshaw) fear to tread.... If I get around to fixing that one, it will not be through removing the star, but by doing a complete rewrite so that it will be worthy of it. For one, oxygen needs to be cordoned off in its own section: it is just too different. (The same would be true for nitrogen in the pnictogens.) Greenwood and Earnshaw even cordon off sulfur, but I don't think we need to go that far. (I'd also cordon off things like astatine in the halogens and copernicium in group 12, if you're wondering. I leave francium in group 1 alone, not because it's any more relevant to the average chemist – it isn't – but because its chemistry would just be that of Fr+ and its differences with the rest of the group would be a matter of degree, rather than of kind.)
You just have to be clear about what GAN is. A review by one person of any qualification. I don't take it too seriously. I only use it in pre-FAC preparations as another review. By the way, I didn't really like much it when you took lead to GAN before I was done with it. I had to take a break, I don't remember why, and then when I'm back in, it has a I got at least something, right? Let's leave it there then---see, that demotivational effect in action. That's why I'm not happy with your current announcement of a GAN for iron.--R8R (talk) 17:18, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I know you're not happy, but I promise not to stop working on it. I already have plans to improve it further (e.g. history, better explanation of magnetism...) I will not be happy about it until I think everything that should be there is there, regardless of pretty stickers, even though they do make me happy! I've even complained about FA californium on the talk page! (And I think the chemistry of an element is so important that for thorium, which I intend FA for, I wrote a huge one. Nothing less would really satisfy me completely.) Double sharp (talk) 08:18, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Then why have have green plus in first place until you're done?
Because it results in another review along the way for free. Double sharp (talk) 14:18, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
But whatever the answer, I hope I'm just being too pessimistic and wish you good luck.--R8R (talk) 08:38, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
But I am half-tempted to say that apart from the homogeneous ones (group 1, 2, 17, and 18), it's just not worth doing it, apart from repairing the damage on group 16. If I wrote a nice comparison of Fe, Ru, and Os and made it a group 8 article, it would get much more views if I compared each of them in their article to the other two. Double sharp (talk) 10:57, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Same here. Don't really want to write any group article than those four. The story is not either singular or important.--R8R (talk) 17:18, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay, now the ruthenium chemistry section is acceptable. (It previously didn't even mention the halides!) Double sharp (talk) 11:52, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. It is still my opinion that if we want to increase productivity, it would be better to not say your good points about GAs that stagnate there (not on my watch, now! Ruthenium has become a precedent!), because it tends to discourage people who want to do something from actually doing it: I know it does for me. And having GA as a way-stop along the way breaks up the work, and feels less intimidating that FA-ing iron or silver in one go would be to a relatively new user. You may remember that when I was new here I focused almost exclusively on the articles that were almost GAs and just had a little bit of work to do! (^_^) Let's not talk about what people shouldn't be doing! Let's talk about what they should do! Isn't that nicer? I promise to atone for my sins of carbon and copper later. Double sharp (talk) 12:02, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
"And having GA as a way-stop along the way breaks up the work, and feels less intimidating that FA-ing iron or silver in one go would be to a relatively new user." I beg to differ. For a new user, a plus basically says, "OK then, I'll better do something else to be useful." (I'll assume new users will be faithful writers; why else join?)--R8R (talk) 17:18, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
If they don't know enough to write properly, only to add citations to already almost-there articles (like me in 2011), maybe. Once they do know enough, they should care enough about the content. Besides, even in 2011 I was aiming to FA alkali metal, after all, and I still am. Maybe I'm not representative, but there's no one newer here who's stayed very long after us two (and occasionally Parcly). Double sharp (talk) 08:09, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
I was different in 2011, but I won't argue since who knows. :) --R8R (talk) 08:38, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

P.S. The other thing about nominating such an important article is that many eyes will come and look at it: for example EdChem has added a great deal of chemistry content to iron after I nominated it. History could be added after reading ferrous metallurgy and Iron Age. Double sharp (talk) 08:33, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

the problem with writing articles about groups[edit]

Is that you tend to want to compare absolutely everything.

Now I have yet another funny one for group 1. You might naïvely expect that potassium should be a better conductor of electricity than sodium, since its electrons are further from the nucleus and so are even more easily delocalised. This is not true. Apart from Li to Na (where I suppose the small size of the Li atom means that this is the dominating factor), the electrical conductivity actually decreases going down the group from Na to Cs. Now, is there a way to explain this in a way that a curious high-school student would understand? ^_^ (I love group 1 so much! They look so simple and yet there are so many hidden depths! And they will get anyone hooked on chemistry because of their nice explosions!) Double sharp (talk) 10:44, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

I got that feeling after I started to research about fluorine's chemistry :) Are we to expect a FAC at some point?--R8R (talk) 17:20, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Definitely! If any group deserves it, this one does! Double sharp (talk) 08:12, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Oh, and in the transition metals: this is strange. Taking lutetium as the period-6 group-3 member, you have groups 3 to 7 which have an oddball first element and two twins (e.g. Ti vs Zr/Hf). These are the "early transition metals". Then you have groups 8 to 10, where you have a smoother gradation of properties (e.g. Fe through Ru to Os). These are the "middle transition metals". Then groups 11 and 12 (the "late transition metals") are very weird. Group 11, containing the first three metals man ever encountered and one joke (Rg), has a strange sequence (Cu likes to form the +2 oxidation state, Ag likes +1, and Au likes +3) and group 12 again has two twins, but it is now the last element that is the oddball (Zn/Cd vs Hg)! Double sharp (talk) 15:37, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

regarding lead[edit]

Notice that Pb appears in the table of nutritional elements under "Limited circumstantial evidence for trace benefits or biological action in mammals"! (Link.) (If true, it would be the heaviest, beating iodine by a large margin. In fact, if all these suggestions were true, it would make groups 14 and 17 the only ones whose usable members are all essential.) Double sharp (talk) 07:41, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

P.S. actually, this also means that out of the first four periods, the only chemically active elements that have no suggested biological function are beryllium (toxic), scandium (doesn't seem to do much), and titanium (pharmacologically helpful, like lithium and tantalum, but not necessary). Double sharp (talk) 07:45, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the tip. I'll look for more info when I got to the section on Biology. Bio is one of the hardest topics for me (relative) in an article, so this is much appreciated --R8R (talk) 10:51, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
You're welcome. I suppose it depends a lot on what kind of sources you have. Since I have Greenwood and Earnshaw I don't find it that difficult to write about the basic inorganic chemistry and physical properties of an element, but other stuff tends to require more work. I added a little to gallium along these lines today. Maybe I will finish adding citations and fixing the remainder in a few days...but I'm very tired... Double sharp (talk) 11:51, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

regarding transfermiums[edit]

It is perhaps prudent to note that the vital articles list only includes the first 105 elements (so dubnium just barely makes it, having been spared the axe due to having isotopes with half-lives over a day). Truth be told, I suspect my contribution to the reader from my chemistry articles rests almost entirely on alkali metal and thorium (and my collaboration on you with lead). They're almost the star-collector corner of WP:ELEM (which perfectly explains why they are almost finished). (Given that there are twenty of them and I wrote fourteen of them, please take this as good-natured self-deprecation. Admittedly it is also another attempt to convince you that ruthenium would be more important to tackle than dubnium, but it's not only that. ^_-☆)

Thank you so much for the sources for thorium, BTW! Maybe after that I will have sufficient confidence at writing history sections to do polonium and radium properly like I always wanted to. Only then will every radioactive but visible element (up to fermium) have a worthy article (polonium is a little lame for a GA). Double sharp (talk) 16:27, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Don't try to convince me Ru is more important than Db: I know it is. Basically there is that interesting transfermium conflict that I want to tell, and it makes the main reason why I want to go for FA. It's a shame that the conflict hasn't covered in color anywhere in I already have the basic idea on how to write that section. This is not a full article like, for example, ruthenium: no uses, very little chem, no bulk properties, practically no precautions, so it's comparably cheap in terms of effort. Besides, we don't have an FA on an early transactinide. As for next big targets, I'd want to go for iron and aluminum.
You're welcome! Nice to know, by the way, that you don't forget your old GAs. I'd be fine to just have mine deprived of their pluses if they don't deserve them.--R8R (talk) 17:24, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I cannot forget Po, I like it so much. ^_^ (Not that I want to actually see it in person, but I find its chemistry really interesting and think it's a terrible shame that it's so unstable and toxic. Chalcogen and metal, what an interesting match!) Really, the article now just reads like a collage of decently-cited information. If it were not so meticulously cited it would be C-class. (It's very weird. Perhaps the only weirder article is As which alternates GA-class sections with C-class sections to achieve an overall B-class rating.) And it is inspiringly beautiful that despite these challenges, polonium is still quite well-studied. (In fact, I daresay I could write a chemistry section for it that would stand up as almost an equal to those of selenium and tellurium...)
I think that, as you say, the only things to say about the transactinides that are really important are the historical factors, which are really interesting recent stories: nothing else really matters about them, and yet the controversy about what to name 105 for instance dragged on for many half-lives of it. For the worst possible case, look at meitnerium: no controversy, uninteresting predicted chemistry, uninteresting predicted nuclear properties, and no plans for experimental chemistry. I doubt it will get any longer. These things can be done in a single day, which explain their appeal, whereas polonium for instance would require a lot of work to make it a worthy GA, let alone a worthy of FA (to make an FA chalcogen – oxygen doesn't count!) Double sharp (talk) 16:55, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah. That's why I want to go for FA with Db. There's no stable element for which that would be enough to justify me wanting to go for it (that iron and its history/cultural significance, though...). By the way, I hope to make the article interesting so one could spam FAs using it as a template. It's not even too difficult for the late superheavies now thanks to you applying my treatment of info in ununseptium to them (want to give it later a try?).--R8R (talk) 10:47, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Not a bad idea. I think we could already spam all the 7p and 8s elements with the template. Once Db is an FA, all of 6d except Ac (and the last actinides Md, No, and Lr) could immediately follow. Double sharp (talk) 07:51, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

P.S. Actually, speaking of chalcogens: because of the drive to make old GAs and FAs worthy of the name that you suggested for the transition metals, I think a great way to do this while simultaneously gaining recognition and doing something important would be to make chalcogen a good topic. While there we have oxygen (old FA, needs some help), sulfur (C-class), selenium (good old GA), tellurium (good old GA), polonium (not-that-great old GA), livermorium (good new GA), and the chalcogen main article (terrible old GA). Just a thought. ^_^ Double sharp (talk) 17:03, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Actually, I'd want to start off with depriving some TM articles from their pluses. This way, there's a reward for an editor who brings them back to GA and less time articles rated unproperly and the whole thing is just easier to manage. Of course, I don't propose that for oxygen (which is fine even now, though there's always room for improvement). Also, I'd appreciate it if we focused on our collab on lead for now. We're not even too far away from having the job done (production, in part uses, and biology are the only topics not yet covered well), so let's get there. By the way, you're still free to email me to get Ullmann.
...somehow, I still don't think they'll get deprived of their pluses. The problem is that they look very well-cited and only someone who knows their stuff about the topic will know that things are not all right, that some things are missing. Hence, just like chalcogen, complaints are going to get dismissed as elitism. Often the problem is a lack of chemistry, which I fixed for Ru. Hf has its own different problems. Maybe that will be next. But I think it would waste a lot of time on procedural nonsense to take them all to GAR, and would much rather bring them up to standard independently. You don't even have to do much research to do any particular one, since the citing is okay: you just need to stuff Greenwood into the bibliography and spam. Double sharp (talk) 07:51, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. haven't forgotten about Ullmann, it's just that I haven't needed it yet because I've been working mostly on Th where I have enough detailed sources to be able to do without it. When I do need it I'll write to you. Double sharp (talk) 07:53, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Speaking of emails, I wrote to Wiley-VCH yesterday night (unfortunately, Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie, despite its name, is now in English, and I didn't have to refresh my skill of German). Let's see if/what they write back after the weekend.)--R8R (talk) 10:47, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

classification of radioactives[edit]

I mentally think of them this way:

  • Th and U – the primordial ones you mine in quantity
  • Ra, Ac, and Pa – the non-primordial ones that you produce as byproducts from uranium ores
  • Polonium – not sure where to put this. You can mine it like the previous category, but there's no point when you can just irradiate bismuth with neutrons
  • Radon – too singular to put in a category, thanks to being a noble gas
  • Tc, Pm, Np–Es – synthetic, viewable
  • At, Fr, Fm–118 – synthetic, not viewable (therefore the articles tend to be prediction spam)

Double sharp (talk) 08:11, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

For the purposes of writing articles, here's apporximately what I think of them:
  • Th, U -- almost normal elements
  • Pu -- standalone due to weapons and popular image
  • Po, At, Fr, Ra, Pa -- non-mineable (for any practical purpose) elements between Bi and U. Chem varies, but that's only one section. Ra quite stands out due to history and historical applications, but not too much.
  • Rn -- standalone
  • Np, Am-Fm -- actinides synthesized in the U.S. after man-conducted nucleosynthesis has been invented, with some stability
  • Md-Hs, Cn-Lr -- almost virtual elements with history and a little chem and very little stability
  • Mt-Rg -- even worse :(
  • 117, 118 -- there's little to write: only predicted properties and history

--R8R (talk) 11:38, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, yours makes more sense from the article-writing perspective (although I wouldn't say Ra, Ac, and Pa are non-mineable; it really is the best way to get them, and is the way in use today according to Greenwood and Earnshaw). I usually think of At and Fr as on a par with the superheavies with known chemistry, though – the situation is almost as bad, and they have even shorter half-lives than Rf and Db. Someone should do a log-scale graph of the natural occurrence of all 94 natural elements – it would look like the usual one, and then you'd be scrolling and scrolling desparately to find astatine. And while thorium and uranium are almost like normal elements, they would require larger isotope sections, including things like the figures of the decay chains. Double sharp (talk) 13:12, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
By the way, here's what I see G&E say: "Then in 1828 J. J. Berzelius obtained an oxide, from a Norwegian ore now known as “thorite”; he named this thoria after the Scandinavian god of war and, by reduction of its tetrachloride with potassium, isolated the metal thorium. The same method was subsequently used in 1841 by B. Peligot to effect the first preparation of metallic uranium." Wow, did Berzelius isolate Th? But otherwise, G&E say little to nothing on mining of these elements.
You need to look near the opening of each chapter on the group, where they mention occurrence and production. As for Pa, I got the info from The Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements, but again it is a special case as it is so long-lived for a non-primordial. Double sharp (talk) 02:21, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
I remember having looked closely. (I'm unable to take a look at the moment, I'm not at home where my chem archive is.) Could you add quotes supporting that?--R8R (talk) 11:38, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. Berzelius got an impure sample: I mention this in the article. (Is the Th review still on? Or do you want me to work on Pb first? I will add the thing I found above on biology/toxicity if you haven't yet. I found this source on metal toxicity by Nordberg et al that I put on Ga and In: over there I cut most of it because it's very minor, but for Pb we can have bucketloads of info from there, I think.)
Okay, cool. As for Th, ever since I asked you if I should wait until you're done with my advice, I've been waiting for yyou to add info on nuclear weapons and reactors. I'm ready to continue the review anytime.--R8R (talk) 11:38, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
As for At and Fr, I find them to be closer to Po and Ra than, say, Sg, because of chem, history, nuclear chains, etc. By the way, both articles are FAs anyway, why worry.--R8R (talk) 18:00, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Also, whatever the extraction method, these elements all have either no uses or niche radioactivity-related ones, problems for health, similar history, etc.--R8R (talk) 18:24, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Tc is a good catalyst (people tend to use Re because Tc is radioactive and that causes problems, but Tc is far more effective usually) and can help protect steel from corrosion in much lower concentrations than Cr, so it's a special case; otherwise I agree. Double sharp (talk) 02:21, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Oh yeah. Given history and the fact you don't need heavy beams to get them, I'd put Tc and Pm where Po and Ra are. It's a nice fact that you mention, but doesn't make a great difference when it comes to writing articles.--R8R (talk) 11:38, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. ^_^ Actually, given how many of the radioactive elements are GAs, I think the only important ones worth worrying about now (other than in-progress Th) are Po and Ra. Double sharp (talk) 10:13, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Production of Pb in the s- and r-processes[edit]

I found this cool fact while researching on Th nucleosynthesis, so I added it to the Pb article: the relative abundances of Pb depend on whether you have a metal-poor star (thus heavy elements come solely from the s-process), or one that condensed out of the gas clouds left by previous supernovae (where the heavy elements have also appeared from previous r-process events). The s-process produces a lot of Pb, because 208Pb and 209Bi have low neutron-absorption cross-sections thanks to their full shell of 126 neutrons. But the r-process does not produce so much directly. Why? Because the r-process hugs the neutron drip line. When its nuclides reach the 126-neutron shell and get the low neutron-absorption cross-section effect, they're still at mass number 194 or so, and beta decay to Os, Ir, and Pt. The neutron-rich nuclides with A = 206–208 are not magic! But you will notice that I said directly. The r-process actually still produces a lot of Pb and Bi, but not directly. The reason is that everything with A = 210–231, 233, and 234 is going to decay quite quickly to Pb and Bi, so Pb and Bi accumulate what would have been the abundances of Po–Ac and Pa had nature seen fit to give them long half-lives! Meanwhile, nuclides with A = 232 or A ≥ 235 quickly become Th and U, and they sit there for billions of years, occasionally spitting out an alpha particle and becoming Pb. Thus the already-large abundance of Pb will keep increasing, until Th and U, being long-lived but not truly immortal, finally flicker out and "die", vanishing from the universe. And these effects – the magic-number boost in the s-process, and the boost from the short-lived "ghost elements" also made in the r-process, combined with thorium and uranium's slow but inexorable march towards oblivion – serve to make Pb by far the most common of the heavy elements. (Thorium is almost as common on Earth – I wonder why? – but is one of the least common elements in the Solar System. Clearly there is a story here that I should tell in the Th article.) Anyway, now it's not just symbolic (like Mc to Db) that thorium (which I started working on) decays to lead (which you started working on)! ^_^ Double sharp (talk) 14:00, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, I kind of had that feeling after I read the B2FH paper :)
"Thorium is almost as common on Earth – I wonder why? – but is one of the least common elements in the Solar System. Clearly there is a story here that I should tell in the Th article." -- yes, please do. --R8R (talk) 09:53, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. Long after our discussion about the uranium-metabolising bacteria, I can't help imagining a truly alien science-fiction-ish lifeform for whom polonium would be essential – and it would have some sort of internal neutron gun and go looking for foods rich in bismuth. Clearly, some details have to be worked out here, but if written well this would be really cool! (Especially since this would immediately point to some sort of practical joke or bet carried out in the xenobiology laboratory of a very advanced alien species!) Double sharp (talk) 14:09, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I've had a similar feeling for a while on fluorine a few years ago :)

Nuclides and isotopes formation[edit]

Hi, R8R! I've sen your involvement in articles concerning nuclides and radioactivity. I think your input would be useful for the issue analyzed at talk:Hess's law#Application to the heat of formation of isotopes and also at talk:Standard enthalpy of formation re the interplay between heat of formation difference between the isotopes of a chemical element (and the necessity of a reference value) and neutron capture or beta decay heat of reaction as means or reactions of different isotopes generation.-- (talk) 13:07, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

I'll take a look soon and for now, I'll notify @Double sharp: as they may be even more helpful than I am.--R8R (talk) 13:09, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks.-- (talk) 13:57, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Just taking a quick look at this (assuming that we define by fiat that ΔHo
(1H2) = 0), why wouldn't ΔHo
(D2) be zero? I mean, if you argue that the neutron capture needed to transform 1H into D should be counted, then surely ΔHo
(4He) cannot be zero because you would need to fuse four protons together to form an alpha particle (emitting two positrons along the way) by the proton-proton chain reaction, which is absurd. I think you should regard D as though it was a different element from H (which by default means 1H), so that it always appears both in the reactants and the products. Similarly for beta decay. Double sharp (talk) 14:05, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
The standard convention is that elements (all as if monoisotopic) are assigned zero enthalpy of formation, but the enthalpy of atomization of biatomic molecules of elements is non-zero. A short remark for He: He as a inert monoatoamic gas and no atomization involved can certainly have zero heat of formation. But a similar to hydrogen case issue appear when dealing with isotopes (He-3 or He-4). Which one should be the reference one?-- (talk) 12:50, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
H2 (g) is the standard state of the element, so its heat of formation should be zero (and I see the article already states this). Of course its heat of atomisation is nonzero, but that is irrelevant.
Likewise, we are not looking at nuclear reactions here when defining these thermodynamic concepts. If we had to wait until we achieved the final equilibrium, then we'd have to wait for all the thorium in the compounds we look at to decay to lead. Clearly that's not what we mean. So I would say that ΔHo
(3He) = ΔHo
(4He) = 0, as they are both the element in the standard state, and there's no way to transmute between them if we don't look at nuclear reactions. Otherwise, what happens when our 3He and 4He fuse? Are you going to claim that ΔHo
(7Li) ≠ 0, even when that is another example of the element in its standard state? It seems to me that if we do it your way, only one element can possibly have a zero enthalpy of formation, as the others can be made from it via nuclear fusion or fission. At this point, we have lost touch with chemical utility! When we talk about the enthalpy of formation of water, we think of the change in enthalpy when we form a mole of water from H2 and O2. We do not think about the much larger change in enthalpy when we form it from eighteen moles of protons and eighteen moles of electrons, forming alpha particles that fuse together to make oxygen atoms, and combining with each other to form hydrogen atoms! Double sharp (talk) 14:13, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
This analysis starts from the application of Hess cycle to the situation of isotopes. The situation of isotopes is similar to that of different allotropes enthalpy of formation, for instance the enthalpy of formation of diamond is non-zero compared to that of graphite which is the reference allotrope from the allotropes of carbon. Also the low natural abundance of some isotopes like deuterium, Li-7 makes the situation unnoticeable or negligible. Is there any reason for not considering nuclear aspects when defining (and extending the frame/perspective) heats of reaction? Lost touch with chemical utility? How so? Not necessarily! As for the statement that only one element can have a zero enthalpy of formation, it is a case of non-sequitur (with high probability I think) from this analysis. A related aspect is about the heat of formation of hydrogen deuteride and generally the case of heteroisotopic molecules of elements which is clearly non-zero. The question is how the (obviously non-zero) heats of nuclear reactions of formation of isotopes of elements go along in a consistent frame with enthalpies of chemical reactions, in other words what is the thermochemical connection between chemical and nuclear reactions?-- (talk) 09:21, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
7Li does not have low natural abundance; it is the most common isotope of lithium.
This is my counterargument against you: if I have a sample of isotopically pure 141Pr (the only stable praseodymium isotope), it has enthalpy of formation zero. Now you want to consider neutron capture and beta decays. OK, if I fire neutrons at it I get 142Pr. Now if I follow your arguments this cannot have enthalpy of formation zero because you want to consider the neutron capture. Now I wait for it to beta decay, which you also want to count, until we get a pure block of 142Nd. Do you think this has enthalpy of formation zero, since it is the only theoretically stable neodymium isotope, and the others are just expected to have long half-lives? If so you're being inconsistent, because you want to count the neutron capture between isotopes of the same element, and yet you don't want to count the beta decay between isobars of different elements.
As for the thermochemical connection between chemical and nuclear reactions, everything is specifically written to ignore that. That is why we consider forming substances from their elements, not from a soup of protons, neutrons, and electrons. If it bothers you that much, just consider 1H and 2H as though they were completely different elements. After all, two 1H atoms can fuse to 2H, and four 1H atoms can fuse to the different element 4He. Double sharp (talk) 10:05, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
A small mistake has occurred, I meant 6Li instead of 7 to have low natural abundance. I'm not saying to consider a soup of protons, neutrons, and electrons instead of elements (although it might occur in plasmas). It is about the problematic assumption of everything is specifically written to ignore the thermochemical connection between chemical and nuclear reactions. Ignoring inconvenient or not standard situations and brushing them under the rug is not a sign of true scientific methodology and intellectual honesty. John Kenneth Galbraith said in a book which I've recently browsed that this habit of ignoring of inconvenient facts is often reproached to conventional economists, among other imputations of less scientific status of economics. I don't say to ignore the beta decay. I'm just saying this situation requires a careful analysis with all implications, not a hasty dismissal.-- (talk) 11:56, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Another interesting aspect appears in the context of (standard) electrode potential when there is the convention that electrode potential of standard hydrogen electrode is zero at all temperatures (implying a enthalpy of formation of hydrogen ion also zero at all temperatures)(see the discussion at talk:ideal solution#temperature range of ideality). The very interesting aspect involving helium is what values of (standard) electrode potential can be expected from a helium electrode?-- (talk) 12:58, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
You don't get any, since helium has no known compounds. Double sharp (talk) 14:15, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
This is an usual expectation based on some assumptions, but there are chances (non-zero probability) that it may be false due to equilibrium interface potential and non-equilibrium diffusion potential and possible involvement of hydrated electron in electrified interfaces as stated by Brian Evans Conway.-- (talk) 08:50, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
Also the situation gets more complex if we consider values for standard electrode potential for solvated electron which seem to have been determined.-- (talk) 13:01, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
The involvement of solvated electron clearly impose some adjustments or rethinking of perspective(s) and assumptions.-- (talk) 09:49, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

The main point for this issue is: are there any sources to address this topic at the intersection of chemical thermodynamic, (electrochemistry), nuclear and radiochemistry? How can they be spotted? Or perhaps the topic has not yet occur to some researcher's mind due to disciplinary boundaries? How calorimetry techniques and measurements intervene in this situation? (both ordinary calorimetry and/or calorimeter (particle physics)).-- (talk) 13:11, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

I doubt it, since the logic of this idea spirals quickly into absurdity, as I explained above. Double sharp (talk) 14:19, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
It is a situation far from trivial and obvious quick spiraling into absurdity as you hastily label it. It deserves a careful analysis with all implications.-- (talk) 09:29, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I think spotting some sources could be done in connection with RAS, mentioned somewhere on this talk page.-- (talk) 09:36, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Sources used[edit]

Helo, R8R Gtrs! How do you see the (acceptability of) use of sources in other languages than English in English wikipedia, like there is in steam turbine article, where it is mentioned a source in German, however not cited directly. Could there problems or objections to such sources? Or specifically might there be cases of language discrimination by some editors? For instance if the book in other language than English is not cited directly, a German language book is (more) acceptable (than) but not, for instance, a book in Russian language?-- (talk) 22:39, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

Hi! I've read the article and I see what you're talking about. I think that there's no way how anyone could possibly object to such inclusions; if someone did, I'd argue with this person. Now that you don't use it as a reference but as a part of your story, it falls into a completely different category. Objections could arise but definitely not on the ground that it's a paper in a different language.--R8R (talk) 09:45, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

a cool fact you might want to know[edit]

Cerium(IV)...only sort-of...half-exists... I did not know this until I finished my draft of the Ce article! (Now in mainspace.) Double sharp (talk) 07:46, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Wow! Very cool. When I find cool facts that cool, it becomes a reason to want to keep suit and think about potentially about going for FA. :) --R8R (talk) 09:48, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

history along the rare earths[edit]

The story of them has an incredibly wide historical sweep. First we have the 1794 discovery of Y by Gadolin and the 1803 discovery of Ce by Berzelius around the turn of the 18th century. From there came Mosander with the new Industrial-Revolution techniques to get La, Tb, and Er, followed by the predictions of Mendeleev to get Sc, as well as Pr, Nd, Eu, Gd, Ho, Tm, and Yb via hunting emission-line signatures. Then comes the fading of the age of hunting the last elements in nature, with the increased high stakes and increased nationalism haunting the discovery of Lu, and the discoveries of Moseley and Bohr, in that time perhaps even seen as an attempt to claim chemistry as a protectorate of physics. And then we have the sealing of that age with artificial Pm. It would make a great story for lanthanide! And unlike for Ra, I actually do have the sources to write it! Double sharp (talk) 09:55, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Also, working on the early lanthanide articles has made me acutely aware of how much our articles on the late ones kind of suck (Tm...) Right now Ce is my flagship here (Sm is also very good, but I didn't write it; those two may as well be the only important lanthanides for the average organic chemist). I am tempted to do the twins Pr and Nd to finish the first half before I go do something else. Both to give myself a change (they're disconcertingly similar!) and because of the rationale you have said many times: it's easier for hypothetical newbies to have a model to follow. (But I will be back to the lanthanides at some point.) Double sharp (talk) 16:16, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. Actually, for this very reason, if I had to choose a lanthanide to FA (to get a representative of each class), I think I'd pick Ce. It is one of the most interesting chemically. Double sharp (talk) 16:25, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Regarding my old "first-20-or-30-elements overambitious plan"[edit]

I think I have actually come up with a way to make it not overambitious. Thirty is way too many, even if you know something about the chemistry of the first 30 once you graduate high school (plus a few others, notably Ag, Br, and I). Let's think of a number I can count on my fingers, like five or maybe six. What would I think as the six most important elements? Probably H, C, N, O, P, and S. (If you asked me for ten, I'd be torn between adding the four halogens F, Cl, Br, and I, and adding some metals, but would probably agonisingly decide on the halogens, to get all of core organic chemistry – although P is disputable, as it doesn't actually bond directly to carbon in the most known organic compounds with it. That's the problem with the vital articles list of elements; there are just too many metals that you can make an argument for. I don't dispute Fe being on the list, but I would argue for Na, for example. But at that point we're back to 30 elements and overambition.)

I am intrigued by the idea of doing N. Like O, it is a significant part of the atmosphere, and would be similar to write, and yet a little different. (On the contrary, C, P, and S do not really have FA models.) Instead of water, we have ammonia as the most important compound; we have a similar history; we have azides instead of oxides, but now also oxoacids and oxoanions; lots of organic nitrogen compounds instead of oxygen compounds; and we do not have the vital spark of O, and yet we have a little (nitrogen fixation and overcoming the strong triple bond). So similar and yet so different!

So my reworked and less impossible version of that idea is to, as a WP:ELEM initiative, feature H, C, N, O, F, P, S, Cl, Br, and I hopefully before the end of the next decade. (3/10 already!) Double sharp (talk) 16:10, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

You're harsh on metals. If I were to make such a list, I would include at least iron and aluminum. Not as vital for life (though... hemoglobin?), these elements, however, make a lot in modern lifestyle and culture. A regular person easily knows and understands either metal, but not (say) bromine. (This made me want to check the list of the vital articles. I will later this evening)--R8R (talk) 18:49, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
It's more that I don't see a way to limit important metals to 10 with CHONPS included. I end up wanting Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, W, Pt, Au, Hg, Tl, Pb, Bi, Th, U, and Pu, and while I'd be more willing to part with some than others I just find the choice too hard. (This includes the biologically useful ones, the household names, the ancient metals, and the poisons - though I suppose Cd being well-known as one is debatable outside Japan.) But in any case it is more of a thing for self-motivation. I like the idea of CHONPS featured articles, so it spurs me to do something about it. I agree Br is perhaps the least-known halogen. If I absolutely had to put four metals in to replace the halogens, I'd say Al, Fe, Au, and Hg, probably. Double sharp (talk) 01:48, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. the vital articles list has H, C, N, O, Al, Si, Fe, Cu, Ag, Au. Not a bad list, although I would make it metal-nonmetal balanced by adding P and S. Actually, it would not be bad to make a 20-element list with nonmetals CHNOPS+halogens, and metals Al, Si, Fe, Cu, Zn, Ag, Sn, Au, Hg, Pb. (Ancient metals, plus Al, Si, and Zn, that are hard to argue with.) Double sharp (talk) 03:30, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
(It's a good thing for me that most of the period 5 metals are already done – the major exceptions being Sr and Sn. I find them a little boring; in period 4 you have the new effects of the 3d shell, and the first subshell of a given angular momentum always acts funky. In period 5 you have normal citizens, like period 3 really, except that we don't use the period 5 elements very much apart from Ag, Sn, and I like we do the period 3 elements, so we just ignore them. In period 6 relativity throws a spanner in the works, to say nothing of 4f acting funky, and by period 7 relativity is mocking us and Mendeleev, but has not won yet – that will wait until period 8. So I feel very unmotivated to make Sn look good, even though it would be nice to get rid of that unsightly yellow spill on the table, while I am enthused by our current Pb project. It does mean that when I finally get around to Au, I would want to do it.) Double sharp (talk) 16:10, 30 July 2016 (UTC)


...okay, I have to ask: how would you organise the article? Double sharp (talk) 16:17, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

May I please delay my answer to this one? At the moment, I want you to help me finish lead (which is already almost there); besides, there's also thorium that made us both sort of shelf lead. I don't want either of us to spread too thin.--R8R (talk) 18:07, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
No problem! Making nitrogen an FA is a later goal; though I think it is my next one after Pb and Th, I do not intend to start on it yet, although I did make a few edits to the lede section. (It does help to have a structure in the back of my mind first for such an important article, and that's why I asked.) Double sharp (talk) 03:34, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
P.S. I think that for the colourless gases (H, He, N, O, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe, Rn) we shouldn't actually show a photo in the article, because it will not be representative of the element in its standard state, like how the image at Sun was changed from a striking UV-light image to a boring but accurate visible-light image. The other gases are OK, but F should show gaseous fluorine (I know it's not likely to happen).
I also would like to avoid subarticles whenever possible, because they tend (for me) to lead to wiki walking and never finishing the original article. (I apologise in advance for linking to TV Tropes.) Granted the chemistry section of N will probably require it (otherwise you'll get bloated subsections on ammonia and the nitrogen oxides), but that's exceptional and I think it can be avoided for most of the other sections. Definitely I feel the need to mention under compounds at least: nitrides and azides (and the complexes); ammonia; other nitrogen hydrides (hydrazine especially); halides; oxides; oxoanions and oxoacids; and the huge world of organic nitrogen compounds. Double sharp (talk) 16:29, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, I don't see the problem with subarticles. My best experience with them occurred with fluorine. We had too much info there, and TCO moved details to subarticles. This was a great move: we didn't have the main article overloaded anymore and we didn't lose the info either. In general l, the effect you described comes from links in general or, more broadly speaking, from human inability to stay focused. Don't blame the not guilty!--R8R (talk) 18:07, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
Besides, the article itself is the article and the subarticles are extensions to that article.
As for colorless gases, I don't have a standing point on this one. As for F, yeah, it would be great if we could; but it seems we can't (for now).--R8R (talk) 21:26, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree with how most of it would be overload in the main one, but I would place the bar just a little higher. For instance, I would personally have kept the first two sections of compounds of fluorine in the main article, since they are about F2 and the general effect of F in compounds. (Right now the article says that the F–F bond energy is lower than the Cl–Cl or Br–Br bond energy, but does not say why.) After that we just need a summary, and I would follow the idea of your F structure for N. I'm OK with subarticles for compounds (Lord knows we need it for N), but the element itself should be discussed in depth. If you look at properties of water, and see the amount of detail there on why it acts like it does, you can see what I would want to do for a molecule. This sort of talk should be in the main article on the compound. But when the molecule is N2, the only place for it is in the N article, so we should keep it there. (Why talk about F2 in compounds of fluorine, when technically it's not a compound since it only has one element?)

I did think about organising the chemistry section for N, at least.

First I would talk about the structure of N2 (right down to the MO diagram and all that) and why it is so stable (where to put N2 as a ligand though? most ligands like cyanide do not have N as the donor atom, so coordination compounds would be a small section, and yet this needs to be mentioned). Then come the compounds, which would mostly be my enthusiastic descriptions of highlights with a great deal of links.

First would be the metal nitrides and azides, and then the hydrogen compounds: ammonia and its derivatives (ammonium and amides), and a little on the other hydrides (definitely mostly hydrazine...not sure if hydrogen azide is worth it; when I think of N-H compounds I think firstly of ammonia and secondly hydrazine). I think we could either segue into the amines (as well as NH2OH), or leave them to a separate "organic" section (but not NH2OH).

Then finally we switch sections and move to halides and oxyhalides (e.g. FNO, FNO2). (BTW, the material usually used by the pranksters is not pure NI3, but rather the adduct NI3·NH3.) Then we move to oxides and oxoacids (yet another huge one).

I'm well aware that there are more compounds, but I'm trying to keep to those where N is the most important atom. If I look at Th(NO3)4, it may be a nitrate, but more importantly it is a thorium compound. That will imply its radioactivity, and other interesting stuff. Whereas knowing that it is a nitrate doesn't tell us so much. I think cyanides do not have to be covered in detail like I would for the above compounds. I'd mention cyanide after the azides N
briefly as the most famous pseudohalogen. I think of them more as C compounds than N compounds because C is usually the donor atom. (Actually part of me would consider claiming cyanogen as an honorary halogen for WP:ELEM purposes.) Boron-nitrogen compounds I think should be emphasised in the B article instead; here it is just a cool fact mentioned along with the other nitrides. I need an excuse to move the P and S compounds as well. Double sharp (talk) 03:30, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Regarding chemistry, I'd start going into it by talking about N's small size (3/4 of P, also leading to greater basicity of ammonia vs phosphine) and proclivity for triple bonding with itself. This N≡N bond is so strong (compare double and triple vs single bonds of C and P) that many N compounds are endothermic. Furthermore, N is exceptional in forming a trinegative ion and it only works because the nucleus is so close (compare sodium nitride with the alloy-like phosphide and arsenide.) (Forgive me for thinking so much about this, but it strikes me as perhaps the most important of our plans from the reader's POV, so I can't help but contemplate how to do justice to it.) Double sharp (talk) 03:56, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

P.S. this is still interesting enough that I cannot forget it. BDE goes N2 >> O2 >> F2, because electrons are going into the 2pπ* antibonding orbital, so that the bond order goes 3, 2, 1. But I would also have to add in connection the same effect of weak N–N (hydrazines) and O–O (peroxides) bonds compared to P–P and S–S, which is much the same as the F2 vs Cl2 effect. I will just quote Greenwood instead of writing something myself here: "...the weakness of the F–F single bond is then ascribed to decreased overlap of bonding orbitals, appreciable internuclear repulsion and the relatively large electron–electron repulsions of the lone-pairs which are much closer together in F2 than in Cl2". They reference P. Politzer, Anomalous properties of fluorine, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 91, 6235–7 (1969); Some anomalous properties of oxygen and nitrogen, Inorg. Chem. 16, 3350–1 (1977). (Because of the first-row anomaly I accept that period 2 is a worthy article topic, as is period 3. What I am sometimes unconvinced about is whether any of the other periods could plausibly develop into worthy articles, 1 being so short and 4–7 being so long and more easily broken into blocks, and if the copy-pasting that seems to be the hallmark of writing those articles is simply a wish to collect GT and FT stickers. Then I remember that for me the GA stickers on the transactinides make me happy, and I don't want to grudge someone else that, even though I don't personally see the point.) Double sharp (talk) 09:32, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

regarding the metric userbox I remember you used to have[edit]

It so happens I have a favourite quote about this (a novel, but see the bottom of the page). ^_^ (although somewhat coarser than how I'd say it) Double sharp (talk) 12:14, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Can't find it :( --R8R (talk) 21:08, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
"In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade—which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. An amount of hydrogen weighing the same amount has exactly one mole of atoms in it. Whereas in the American system, the answer to 'How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?' is 'Go fuck yourself,' because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities." (sorry for the language, not mine) Double sharp (talk) 02:50, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Ha ha, I can relate to that.
I dropped the userbox because even though I think the metric system is better, someone not used to it can have problems with that because they're not used to that (you don't say, right?). I don't understand, say, 10 feet, even though I'm easily able to convert that into metric 3 meters (3.048, to be exact, I know), and it's even worse with Fahrenheit. I don't understand, say, 80°F (is that hot or warm?) and I have to do the calculation. I remember that F=1.8*C+32, so 80=1.8*C+32; 48=1.8*C; without a need to have a precise value I'd say that 26 or 27°C. (I checked that, it's 26.(6) deg C, though of course I can multiply that by five and have 240=9*C, and C=80/3. But you see that this takes calculating and many people can't do that, especially without paper in hand. And as I don't understand feet, or Fahrenheit, or pounds, or anything, I see why many Americans can not understand the metric system.--R8R (talk) 22:25, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I know that feeling, especially with heights (which is the measurement in which I most often encounter imperial units). I always end up mentally converting feet and inches, working up and down from 4'11" = 1.5 m (*), and knowing that an inch is about 0.025 cm (no need for any more accuracy), because while I understand what 1.5 m means in terms of a height I don't understand what 4'11" means. To really understand it I would have to put up a new set of mental markers along the lines of xkcd 526 for metric (*), and imperial is uncommon enough that I really never feel the need to do it. I suppose it would be exactly the same situation in the US, where metric would not be encountered that much outside scientific contexts.
I remember that comic. It helped me formulate my current perception of the American units. So I'm with you on this one.
(*) Not my height. No, really. I chose that because 1.5 is a pretty round number metrically and it happens to be nicely close to 5'. I am somewhat taller.
I wouldn't care anyway. Physical appearance/sexual orientation/color of skin do little to change my perception of a person.--R8R (talk) 14:17, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
(**) While I tend not to say strong language, I do not have many qualms about linking to it... ^_-☆ Double sharp (talk) 13:46, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
I remember I even used it in Wiki not even knowing its intensity! I mean, it's so commonly used in English these days. Five years ago, I would think this is because it's not as bad. For comparison, the words of equivalent meaning in Russian are actually used a lot more sparcely. Many people in Russia even think that the Russian obscure lexicon is especially intense after they compare it with the English one. I am very embarrassed at this now.
Of course, I can stand hearing the word "fuck" or even say it myself. I just want it not to be a part of how I regularly talk.--R8R (talk) 14:17, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
Same. I don't mind hearing it, but I try not to be the one saying it usually. It really is rather common in English today, come to think of it. Double sharp (talk) 14:43, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
You folks may be interested in the mental markers I use to try to understand degrees C
F -40 ... 32 41 50 59 68 77 86 95 104 113 122 ... 212
C -40 ... 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 ... 100
Notice especially the nicely palindromic 59-68-77-87-95, brought to by the number 9. YBG (talk) 17:51, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

The name "hahnium"[edit]

...and the Berkeley team made one last futile attempt to get it on the periodic table for element 110 (whose discovery they originally claimed, see darmstadtium), with the following rather aggravating words: "This also has the advantage that it would then not be necessary for so many of us to continue to use the name 'Hahnium' for element 105 to honor Otto Hahn." Seriously, I sympathise with them fighting for seaborgium, but this...just... Double sharp (talk) 14:30, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

now that you mentioned seaborgium, here's a funny quote from a web page I found (warning: Google Translate): "What name will be wearing a new element? There have already been taken into account changes in the political situation. The 1960s were marked by a tough confrontation between the USSR and the United States, including scientific and technical matters. Since the mid-1970s, it is time to "discharge" the warming of relations between the USSR and the USA. Therefore, the Soviet and American authors in no hurry with the name of the 106th element. When the Soviet Union is gone, emboldened Americans have argued that if the 106th element first discovered them, and he was given the name seaborgium to honor Glenn Seaborg. It was the first time that the item was called when a person's life, whose name it bears."
As for element 110, I really don't see why you have problems with this. (What is it?) Thanks for the cool fact, by the way. I think I'll find a use for it later.--R8R (talk) 21:04, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I find it annoying because IIRC they were always against scrambling the names (see their reaction to the 1994 IUPAC proposal in The Transuranium People), and yet they tried to scramble hahnium to 110. It's also the wording, which feels (at least to me) like they were trying to turn their use of "hahnium" into a simple desire to honour Hahn, forgetting about how much the element name would have meant to them and the priority they believed was theirs (for 104 and 105). At least this was before the final December 1997 recommendation of names from IUPAC (when, IIRC, it was finally disallowed to shuffle names), so it isn't anywhere near as bad as I thought. Double sharp (talk) 02:49, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
I see your point now. I couldn't help myself but think the Americans appeared somewhat selfish (understandably, of course) after I read the responses to the 1992 TWG report, so... yeah.--R8R (talk) 22:14, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

why I can't resist finishing seaborgium[edit]

Did you know that Seaborg himself suggested that it be named kurchatovium(!!!)? Double sharp (talk) 14:29, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Wow! I have read the History section you wrote: very, very interesting! (I actually skipped the discovery part because I'm not at tge moment concerned with that with dubnium. I'd also want to add the fact that neither team initially proposed a name actually reflected the geopolitical lessening of tensions: I saw that in various sources.) One question: can you add a source on that 1995 proposal? I'd love to read it.--R8R (talk) 20:51, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
By the way. Do you want to coop on elements 105/106 or, which I find even more interesting and related to that (though less element-y), Transfermium Wars? If so, I'd set up a draft with a timeline of known events so we can have a nice article to refer to later.--R8R (talk) 22:11, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
I have now added a huge table to my sandbox on all the proposals for 101–112, the twelve elements (yes, really) that the TWG considered in its report. Double sharp (talk) 07:24, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
Could you give me a link to that sandbox?--R8R (talk) 11:09, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
I think Sg can be finished pretty quickly, since it is a good eka-tungsten (unlike Rf and Db which are naughty, like Rg and Cn at the very end of the 6d transition series). I've already gotten to "predicted properties". My usual recipe for cranking out a section like this one is to start with a summary of the chemistry of the three lighter elements in the column, restricting it to things that are relevant for what we know about Sg (for instance, no need to say that Cr, Mo, and W form a lot of polyoxoanions). This will mean oxidation states (increased stability of +6 down the group), oxides and halides. Because Cr is so small, Mo and W are better comparisons. Much the same would apply to Db viz. Nb and Ta. Double sharp (talk) 08:55, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, it can!--R8R (talk) 11:09, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
Same link (User:Double sharp/Seaborgium). Double sharp (talk) 11:46, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Cool! But the story doesn't include just names; it also has objections, proposals, formation of new structures, experiments, and that sort of stuff. That's what I want to frame, not only the names.--R8R (talk) 12:41, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
I know, but I think it gets confusing because all the names were shuffled and reshuffled various times, so a table like this seems to me to be helpful for understanding the story (which I hope I did some justice to). Double sharp (talk) 13:03, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
What you did there was great. I just note there are points I'd want to add: the Soviet proposal to establish a group assigning priorities of the seventies, the geopolitical rivalry, etc.--R8R (talk) 13:46, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

P.S. Why do we still have those old speculations from 2003 in all the superheavy elements about long-lived isotopes? There has not been a single instance where I can remember them being confirmed instead of disproved. For example, an hour-long half-life for 272Sg seems suspect – this is an even-even nuclide with 166 neutrons, above the quasi-closed shell at 162, and thus should undergo spontaneous fission with a short half-life like 266No, 268Rf, and 270Rf. Double sharp (talk) 13:13, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Can't say. Maybe given finite resources and costs of such experiments, they made other choices on priorities; like why nobody experiments on chemistry of Rg when we can try Cn?--R8R (talk) 13:46, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
I was more thinking about why there don't appear to be any more recent predictions even after thirteen years. Actually, yeah, Rg is an odd one. I can understand not wanting to do Mt or Ds, but Rg is interesting (there is already Au, and it would be interesting to know if there is Rg, also as another data point for the relativistic stabilisation of the 7s shell besides Cn). Maybe it will happen eventually, but I am not holding my breath. Neither am I holding my breath for the eighth row to begin, although I do hope it will happen (even though I don't think anyone alive today is going to see if Fricke and Pyykkö's predictions really do hold true to Z = 172). Double sharp (talk) 14:38, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
From what I remember, Cn is a lot more interesting theoretically. Even theoretical scientists sort of skipped Rg to get to Cn, it was going to be the big surprise.
I thought there were some small but realistic chances to get elements 119 and 120 at least? I read this was not out of question, except they couldn't use 48Ca anymore.--R8R (talk) 14:48, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
According to unbinilium (which I rewrote), the most pessimistic predicted cross-sections for elements 119 and 120 respectively are 20 fb and 0.1 fb. If these are accurate, then I would not be holding my breath: the world record for success is 30 fb for 278113 (and even that was just three atoms in nine years). Double sharp (talk) 05:25, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't remember the details, but I was under impression a revolution was to happen in a decade that would, for example, allow to synthesize macro quantities of elements with atomic numbers just over 100 (Lr, Rf, Db). I think Dubna planned it. Remember they were sceptical of "backwardness" (they chose a different word, of course) of the Japanese experiment, saying none would want to reproduce it? (Though it could be Berkeley or Darmstadt as well.) This revolution was to change a lot. Even allow extensive research of states of matter of Cn, for example. Think it would also help get new elements (but, unfortunately, don't remember. Want to take a look tonight.)--R8R (talk) 09:02, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
Please do; this sounds really interesting!
I finished Sg and put it into mainspace with a GAN. I changed my usual structure a little, because the experimental chemistry of Rf, Db, and Sg is well-known enough that it seems to fit better with the predictions (like I would do in a normal article like Th, explaining chemical behaviour in terms of atomic properties) – unlike the rest when it is just one experiment or some future plans. This also avoids endless repetition of key points from the predictions that were the reasons for conducting a specific experiment. Double sharp (talk) 15:43, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Unfortunately, I can't. I will try another time, but I think it was a .pdf (or .pptx) presentation rather than a solid text, which makes googling extra difficult.

This article is a chance for a cheap FA. Want to give it a try?--R8R (talk) 21:26, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

Why not? It'll be my first experience with the pit of hungry lions. And with the huge history section I'm not as worried as for the other heavy-on-chemistry ones like Hs. Double sharp (talk) 06:32, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
P.S. I think a lot of the very heavy elements are chances of cheap FAs. I just looked at lawrencium, for instance, and struggle to think of anything else I could add. (In fact, if I took it to FAC now, I think I might get admonished for being too technical, even though I do not think you can or should try to avoid it for such an element.) Double sharp (talk) 15:07, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
I just mostly have a lack of interest in writing most of the SHEs. I write (or, should I say now, wrote) them to collect stars and make the PTQ look good (previously we had a giant angry orange-yellow patch at the bottom of the table, broken only by ununoctium at its end), but chemically most are pretty boring, even to someone like me who loves the history of the quest towards the island. The chief exceptions are copernicium and flerovium, and somewhat also hassium and ununoctium. (Also Zagrebaev thought that Cn would be the centre of the island, which is interesting!) But I think that for the elements until Sg (e.g. how I structured it for Lr) we know enough about chemistry to justify discussing most of the predictions alongside their experimental confirmations. Beyond that we need the new transactinide structure like Cn or Fl. Double sharp (talk) 14:09, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

regarding what you said about cultural metals[edit]

(see User talk:R8R Gtrs/Archive 4#on why I have a phobia about doing Cu, Ag or Au)

I think the main cultural ones are really Fe, Ag, and Au. Even Cu is mostly culturally significant in the form of its alloys like bronze (you often hear of gold, silver, and bronze, but how often outside chemistry do you hear of gold, silver, and copper?). Hg comes the closest among the other ancient metals, but mostly for its role in alchemy: it doesn't get the same cultural aura as Fe, Ag, and Au today. As for Sn and Pb, their most known uses tend to not look very imposing like the structural uses of iron and steel (tin cans? lead pipes? OK, today it would more be lead radiation shielding)? Pt may have picked up some cultural things as a next level over Au, but it's still pretty far off, to say nothing of Rh which is kind of a standard (insofar as there is one) level beyond Pt.

Gold and silver, being precious metals and shiny *・゜゚・* *・゜゚・*, obviously show up differently than iron; for example, mythologically Au and Ag tend to be attributed with magical powers, while Fe supposedly acts as an antagonist to magical energy. And yet Fe is also harder to refine, so for some human civilisations its only source was meteorites, which naturally also led to stories of the supernatural! All this humanist stuff is why I think Fe needs an excellent and thorough review. It is one of those few primordial elements that are not happy with the standard template. Definitely Ag and Au are two of the others for human reasons, and H and He are another two like this for cosmological reasons. (But why worry about those two, since they are FAs?) Double sharp (talk) 15:30, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the link doesn't work for me. I remember you wrote something along these lines, but can't find it.
I am totally unready for a comprehensive reply, as I've had little sleep today and want to go to bed. However, I have a question: would you want to have a collab on iron after we're done with Th and Pb? Wish I had more time for Wiki; so after I do find the time?--R8R (talk) 17:03, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
Quite surprisingly, I just found out that what we now know as "metal" music was also known in the seventies as "iron" or "steel". Interesting, huh.--R8R (talk) 17:08, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
Sorry! Wrong archive! It should work now! Yes, Fe would be good, as would Ag or Au. Double sharp (talk) 02:01, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Speaking of Fe, the GA review is on, so I have done some more work on it. Now I am quite happy with the coverage of iron chemistry (though I asked the reviewer if I should explain or link more things). I hope to achieve iron GA in the short-term (the review's on), and then work on it to FA with you. It truly does dominate the entire d-block, with only copper, silver, and gold making comparable claims. Double sharp (talk) 14:27, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I assume a major work would be needed anyway, so I'll skip the GAN and wish you good luck with it. And then, let's focus on getting Th and Pb to FA, as these two are close; we just need to do it. Okay?--R8R (talk) 14:33, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Of course, no problem. I only went to Fe today since the GA review started. I hope to get it passed in a day or two. Double sharp (talk) 14:39, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
P.S. The writing of Fe has given me some additional ideas on how to deal with the last sections of Pb. You should see something new there in a few days. Double sharp (talk) 14:48, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Sorry if I'm being pushy. I'm sorry myself for having less time than I'd want and the work not being done as quickly enough as it could've been and it bugs me when anything else keeps delaying it.--R8R (talk) 14:50, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
I needed to basically teach myself enough biology before I could be sure not to completely mess up the biology section, but now I felt confident enough to write about the role of Fe in biology at Iron#Bioinorganic compounds, so the way Pb poisons you should be forthcoming. Double sharp (talk) 15:07, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
...and it has started (just a quick note in case you can't read it now: it is not just that Pb mimics Ca, but it also does so for Fe and Zn, and therefore causes a trainwreck absolutely everywhere). Double sharp (talk) 15:12, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

something for dubnium[edit]

I see an interesting note in my old sandbox regarding 268Db: "Physical experiments determined a half-life of ~16 h whilst chemical experiments provided a value of ~32 h. The half-life is often taken as ~28 h due to the higher number of atoms detected by chemical means." Annoyingly not referenced and I can't remember where I found it. Double sharp (talk) 16:48, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I found this quote in doi:0.1016/j.nuclphysa.2006.12.060: "In 2003, there were 3 events observed using DGFRS. In 2004, there were 15 spontaneous fissions observed following chemical separations. In this experiment, there were 5 spontaneous fissions observed following chemical separations. Using all of these events, the half life of 268Db is determined to be 28+11−4 hours."--R8R (talk) 08:36, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

The "revolution"[edit]

Doesn't talk about Cn phases, but this looks promising. Double sharp (talk) 16:59, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Sorry for a late response. It seems this was what I had in mind (though not this very document). As you can see in, say, Google Scholar, there have been many documents on these nuclear explisions, so this must be it. Cool, isn't it?--R8R (talk) 18:24, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
BTW, there are plans to fill in the gaps and chemically investigate Mt as well: [1] Double sharp (talk) 01:29, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Even more presentations: one two three. And the paper is here. Double sharp (talk) 01:37, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Another paper is here. Double sharp (talk) 01:42, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
It is also an interesting fact, BTW, that is cool to point out in SHE articles, that in the absence of nuclear shell stabilisation (the reason why the island exists), einsteinium (Z=99) would be the last element (ref). Additionally, the nuclide charts in some of the papers I linked to above seem to suggest that some of the superactinides may not actually exist, drowned as they are in the sea of instability between Z = 114 and Z = 164, so that their nuclei break up even before they can be said to have been born (just like how there's not really such a thing as 8Be, because it's not bound and instantly expels an alpha particle). The island should nevertheless encompass what looks to me like around atomic numbers 156 to 172, so that we will have a commencement of the 8th period, as well as a termination, but we may not have a middle. Double sharp (talk) 01:55, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

regarding Pb[edit]

Do you think we need a section on etymology of the English word (and the Latin word where the symbol comes from), like Iron#Etymology? (A question that occurred to me when writing Fe – despite what the article would tell you under yesterday, it does not come from ferre "to carry".) Double sharp (talk) 15:18, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Nice one! Yes, I think we do. I think this is the case with all ancient metals, generic names (oxygen, etc.), plus those three names with different spellings in AmE and BrE.--R8R (talk) 16:13, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think in general names that show a spectacular variety between languages need sections like this, and things like F which have alternatives in some language families need at least a paragraph in the history section. Certainly at least the seven ancient metals, plus carbon and sulfur, need it. I'm not exactly sure though how many languages we need to include. In the Fe article I tried to cover the names in the languages I know, but it's not enough for a complete perspective (we're missing Arabic, for example, which is different from all of these, because there are just so many names).
Wiktionary tells me that Latin plumbum is related to the Greek μόλυβδος mólubdos, coming ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *morkw-iyo-, from the root *morkw "dark". The English word lead may be a very distant cognate. Now looking for a reliable source that says this, like I found for Fe. (Different sources tend to give slightly different derivations for these most ancient names.) Double sharp (talk) 04:22, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't think we need many languages. This is English Wiki, after all. Whenever I mention Russian (ftor in fluorine; surma and olovo in lead), for example, I just think it's an interesting example of something it's supposed to illustrate (Ampere's suggestion of naming that beast; close interference of lead, tin, and antimony throughout history; besides that, I think Russian is distant enough from English in popular view and this make the article look better-researched and more interesting), and obviously these are the examples that I'm more likely to be aware of, and all these examples only relate to History and not Etymology itself. As for Etymology, I would only go for English. Maybe also Latin, given the chemical symbols, whenever the Latin names are different from the English ones (not even sure yet).--R8R (talk) 17:29, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Yea, I agree, but I would express it differently. The etymology section should give the etymology of the English element name, and, where it is different, the etymology of the element symbol. YBG (talk) 20:32, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
One further note. If all of the element pages have etymology/naming sections, it would allow us to simplify the List of chemical element name etymologies, which is currently under revision YBG (talk) 20:36, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
It's not worth it having an Etymology section for every element. Most elements were just named by one person or a few people at a certain moment and there is no actual etymology. This should be described, however, in History.--R8R (talk) 11:15, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, apart from the ancient elements I would only have it for things like nitrogen and oxygen, where many of the people involved in the discovery chose different names. Actually, it strikes me that we do have something similar for the superheavies, thanks to the exact same sort of thing, except that in that case we call the section "Naming" – which I think is the right name for it in the case of nitrogen, in fact. Double sharp (talk) 13:41, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
Regarding languages: I think at the minimum we only need English and wherever the chemical symbol comes from, if it doesn't look like it fits. After all, I think just about everyone in the English-speaking world who has studied some chemistry has wondered about those which don't seem to match English – Na, K, Fe, Cu, Ag, Sn, Sb, W, Au, Hg, Pb. It is a small group of eleven elements, of which one is an anomaly among anomalies, coming not from Latin but German (tungsten, Wolfram).
Most of the elements have the usual suffixes, which is a pretty good indicator that they do not need etymology sections for the most part. (Actually, part of me is still wondering if that section can not more easily be placed in the historical context, rather than on its own, for Fe and Pb.) The very few which do not conform do not postdate the alchemists. The suffixes themselves are interesting etymologically, but those would need to be discussed in the main article on element name etymologies, with one exception: -ine.
Can it be described in History? I think not because a section otherwise describing complete History for the whole world (I really like Lead#History as I wrote it) wouldn't be fair in describing only Germanic names. Come to think of that, this could be done, though, for oxygen, tungsten, sodium, and every other non-ancient element, and probably should. As for -ine, I'm not sure (that's not me playing English, I really don't have a strong opinion) if it should be described in articles. Probably. Where does the suffix come from?--R8R (talk) 10:20, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Certainly -ine needs to be discussed in halogen, since it is unique to that group in a way no other element suffix is. Every element with that suffix is in group 17, and every element in group 17 has that suffix, without exception. All four halogens were all named for a property of themselves, or one of their compounds. We have fluorine from fluor, flowing, referencing the use of fluorspar as a flux; or, under Ampère's suggestion, from phthorios, destructive, referencing its extreme, unfettered reactivity. Then chlorine from chloros, yellowish or light-green, referencing its light chartreuse hue. Bromine follows, named for bromos, stink, after its disagreeable odour; finally iodine, from iodes, violet-coloured, referencing its lustrous, purple-black appearance. Finally, the synthetic addition astatine continued the tradition of being named for a property, although given its self-destructive nature this property ended up simply being radioactivity; it comes from astatos, unstable. (Alas, element 117 messed this pattern up by being named after a location. I would almost dare to call it a metal chemically, similar to polonium, since already astatine above it is a curious fusion of the metal and the halogen in its fleeting nature. Perhaps that is how I would have named it, had it been up to me. But, it's not my decision, and I'm happy that it got a euphonious name anyway.) This is the sort of etymological discussion I could justify for all of them and devote a section to in the halogen article. But that's so far away in the future... Double sharp (talk) 09:20, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Having a plan is good, though. I didn't know element 85 was named after a property because the previous four halogens were, by the way (did the American discoverers actually have that in mind?).
You can copy what you wrote here and paste it there (little is better than nothing) and then you may remember about it and this will make you want to improve it.--R8R (talk) 10:20, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
I didn't mean that element 85 was named after a property because the previous four halogens were. That would be nice, but I don't know if it's true and would have to check Segrè et al.'s paper. Certainly I would love this kind of allusion to extend the old traditions, like tying an entire category, or the entire scientific Latin-Greek nomenclature that permeates the table. But I would never claim it to be true if it didn't happen. (I'm still mildly rankled by RIKEN's choice of "nihonium" over the good Latin "japonium" for element 113 because it sounds odd in the Latin-Greek context that is the periodic table. But who am I to complain?)
I think nihonium is just fine. By the way, the periodic table is moving from those times when Latin was so important and elements discovered now are named in a way more common for now. If someone wanted to name an element after a property, they would still probably use Latin to follow the tradition, though what special property could possibly amaze discoverers so much at this point. (By the way, am I correct in that the Japanese also use Latin-based symbols in their scientific language?)--R8R (talk) 20:08, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, they do. I suppose I'll get used to it once it appears on the table and gets used everywhere. After all, we already have darmstadtium and roentgenium that are impossible to pronounce without knowing German. Double sharp (talk) 04:13, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I think I remember hearing that Segrè and his team were rather reluctant to name elements 43 and 85 at all, because there was a feeling around that artificial elements were lower-class than natural ones. Only after the war did Paneth come in 1947 with his article, recommending that the first synthesisers of any isotope of an element had the right to name it. (Indeed, in 1947 element 87 had been named, since it was discovered in nature, but elements 43, 61, 85, and 93 remained as unadorned spaces, with only atomic numbers inked in. So this seems plausible. Now I need to find a real citation for it!) And thus did we end up with such unimaginative names as technetium (from τεχνητος "artificial") and astatine (αστατος "restless, unstable").
Link! Double sharp (talk) 14:26, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Could you give me a quote? I, in contrast, found this: "Unlike earlier reports of discovery, the LBL group had not suggested a name for the element in their previous papers because they were cognizant of the failed alabamine claim."--R8R (talk) 20:08, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, and similarly element 43 was not named at first because the Noddacks' claim needed to be dealt with. But I am pretty sure this was a factor and that I read it somewhere. I will get back to you when I find it... Double sharp (talk) 04:13, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
In that same article he also suggested that if the first discovery of an element was shown to be false, the name should be replaced, recommending for example that "lutetium" be replaced by "cassiopeium". I suppose he must have intended some sort of cut-off date, because I would hate it if "oxygen" were to become Priestley's "dephlogisticated air": so I'd probably cut this sort of thing off at 1900. Nor do I suppose he really wanted to reinstate the silly-sounding name "brevium" for element 91 with its 32760-year half-life, given his acceptance of the name "protactinium", so presumably he would have added something like "unless the original discoverer defers to a later naming suggestion and abandons his own", though Fajans took some time to be convinced. It does seem like an interesting idea. Given the end of the Transfermium Wars, where even those at Berkeley who were firmly in favour of the name "hahnium" now write books using the name "dubnium", I don't think there are any problems other than element 71, which remained so because the controversy was reopened by Coster and Hevesy while von Welsbach was still alive. But I don't think IUPAC would be happy with that. So I suppose we can only remember "cassiopeium" as the most beautiful of the names that did not make it, condemned now to a shadowy half-existence, impotent in itself, and only able to lash out by blocking out possible symbols for new elements. Double sharp (talk) 14:16, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
ha ha, you made me burst into laugh when I saw that "dephlogisticated air" "proposal"! But re blocking symbols, this hasn't been a problem so far and is unlikely to be one in the future (it's not like we expect new elements to keep going on and on). Besides, one-letter symbols are still available (they're not blocked, are they?). Do you, by the way, remember why the IUPAC changed E to Es and Lw to Lr? I remember I looked for the latter once but I don't remember the answer. Neither article mentions that now (it's a shame this is the case).--R8R (talk) 20:08, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
For Lw, the reason is on the talk page: "The original chemical symbol was proposed as Lw but it was changed because 'W' is an unusual occurrence in many languages and it is a cumbersome spoken word." (Although – tungsten?) As for einsteinium, I find E very confusing because it usually represents a general electrophile in chemistry; I don't know if that is the reason. Actually, I'm not sure if one-letter symbols are allowed anymore. Certainly I never thought of them as a possibility for any new elements. A was used for argon, E for electrophiles, G for beryllium, J for iodine, L for ligands, M for metals, R for alkyl groups, X for halogens, and Z as a placeholder like Y. So the only one that hasn't ever been used for anything is Q. Double sharp (talk) 04:13, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Quotes from the Paneth paper[edit]

So I was right!

"The denial of full citizenship to artificial elements seemed justified in those days...They had been produced in invisible amount only, and they were unstable and usually not present on earth; whereas in the case of all the natural elements, we could be sure that, even if they belonged to the radioactive families and were only represented by fairly short-lived isotopes, very considerable quantities always existed. (For example, the laws of radioactive equilibrium ensure the presence in the upper 60 km. of the earth's crust of more than 10,000 tons of polonium). The limited importance attributed until a few years ago to the artificially produced elements was reflected also by the absence of names suggested for them.... Today the situation is very different.... The availability of any desired quantity of element 94 opens the way to the production of visible amounts of elements still higher in the Periodic System. Finally, the uranium pile has given us the means of creating lighter elements in bulk too; among the very products of uranium fission are many new isotopes not only of well-known elements, but also of the missing elements 43 and 61, which can thus be obtained in a far greater quantity than by any previous method. The chemistry of some of the newly created elements is already known as well as, or better than, that of some of the less important ones which were discovered in Nature many decades ago, and their practical application is at least a possibility." And in the same issue were printed the naming proposals for elements 43, 85, and 87, and shortly afterwards element 61 followed. Double sharp (talk) 04:20, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Great, thanks! I updated astatine with this info.--R8R (talk) 14:15, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Al and Fe[edit]

I find it very interesting that both are in your future plans. Not only do they together account for the vast majority of metal production today (with Al second to Fe), there are also interesting chemical similarities between Al3+ and Fe3+. Double sharp (talk) 06:48, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

The leading positions in metal production and their consequent recognizability and is a (perhaps, the) huge reason why I want to go for both articles. People know and contact these metals very commonly and that's why I prefer either to, say, phosphorus or boron. (As for chemistry, really?)--R8R (talk) 16:49, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Your post made me think for a while. Actually, I think it's TCO and his big presentation that ignited this sort of change in me. I want to write about important stuff or at least interesting stuff. I've been seriously considering taking on a big article (not ELEM-scale big, Wiki-scale big) and the one that's been on my mind is Europe because it gets a ton of views and because I'd be interested myself in learning more on Europe in general (I want to go for it when I have the time and I'm also afraid that may never happen and I'll have to change the prerequisite conditions, but let's see). I may occasionally try a low-view article but that's 'cause that'd be interesting for me. But in general, readers' attention doesn't come out of nowhere.--R8R (talk) 17:10, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't really dare to do something like that, at the intersection of so many subjects. My main areas of knowledge are mostly mathematics, chemistry, classical music, and astronomy. There are a lot of articles there that would be scarily high-view. I definitely have other interests as well, but I don't think I know enough to dare to write articles in those fields. I don't write about linguistics on Wikipedia, for example; I read about it and hopefully learn something. (But there's only so far you can go before you need and are ready for buying university-level textbooks.) And look at what I have written: mostly on chemistry, because you'll get a pretty high number of views for articles like alkali metal. In astronomy most of the high-view articles already are FAs. Classical music would be interesting, but the high-view ones would mostly be biographies (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, anyone?) that would be a very different sort of thing for me to write. (Come to think of it...that's actually not a bad idea. I should try doing that at some point.) Double sharp (talk) 14:25, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't either (yet). But these are big articles and there are experts who would be willing to consult you on difficult questions (I would need a lot of help on flora and fauna, for example, but I believe I'll get it). As for write/read&learn: you can read, learn, and then write what you just learned (and ask for assistance to see if you're missing something from those who won't do big jobs themselves but know or at least have a strong stand on whether what you're doing is right or wrong and how). Such big projects would require input from others (besides, I would expect some weak resistance from other points of view, but thought thrives on conflict), but big articles is where you actually can get your help, I think. Though I have yet to see if I'm correct here.--R8R (talk) 15:05, 14 August 2016 (UTC)


Hi! I have noticed that you've initiated the hydration energy and that you are a Russian speaker. I ask you if you can access the following source(s) in Russian in order to verify the formula and more details (of derivation): I.G. Mihailov, V. A. Soloviev, Iu. P. Si(y)rnikov Osnovi molekuliarnoi akustiki, Izd. Nauka, 1964 which is said to contain the following formula about solvation shell number of a ion pair of a electrolyte that I intend to insert also in the mentioned article ss that already contains a similar formula to that in this source relating the solvation number z, densities rho and compressibilities beta, molar masses of water and solution M, M0 and the mass concentration varrho of the dissolved ionic compound:

-- (talk) 16:48, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Also another Russian source (to be checked) for the case where the anions are also hydrated: K. P. Mishcenko, G. M. Poltoratzki, Voprosi(y) termodinamiki i stroenie vodni(y)h i nevodni(y)h rastvorov elektrolitov, Izd. Himia, 1968. Thanks-- (talk) 16:58, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

PS: I understanding the meaning of titles of these books (just one previously unknown word stroenie solved with Google translate): Basis of molecular acoustics and Problems of thermodynamics and structure of aqueous and non-aqueous electrolytes solutions.-- (talk) 17:07, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Unfortunately, although the Russian segment of the internet is full of documents hard to find elsewhere, neither document is available online (which is generally the case for old Soviet docs). The best thing we've got is Google Books, which only offers snippet view for the first book. I was able to find a simpler formula:
but that's it. I am not good at the topic and I only translated a short stub from as I was asked to do so, so I don't even know what to look for when I want to find a formula for that h. Sad trombone sound. Sorry. If you tell me what that letter denotes, I may try to find that formula in that book, but I doubt snippet view will allow much (though you can try).--R8R (talk) 17:54, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps h is a conflation of the terms appearing firstly in the previously mentioned product. It would be useful to compare with the formula in the solvation shell article involving compressibilities determined by sound velocity measurement in ionic solutions.-- (talk) 21:15, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Could these two books be found offline in a library of an institute of Russian Academy of Sciences?-- (talk) 21:19, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Possibly. What I could possibly do is to check the national state library but that wouldn't happen until October. Ping me then if this would still be important by that moment.--R8R (talk) 22:48, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
Ping. It is October now. Before proceeding to purchase these books with the procedure mentioned below, can you check the national state library as specified in August to find the somewhat controversial formula(e) mentioned at talk:solvation shell? (This could be compared with sample view before buying.)-- (talk) 08:17, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Sure. I think next Monday or Tuesday is when I get to it. Am I correct in that I only go there to check that formula in that book? Isn't there anything else I could/should check while I'm there?--R8R (talk) 20:19, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
In principle that formula and the conceptual frame of its derivation within the rest of the book are to be checked and compare/harmonize with other formula present on that talk page. Of course further bibliographic references to other books and journal articles on the topic are useful. If something more comes up, I'll post it here in the next days. Writing here these lines I remembered to post here also a list of some referred journal articles from Soviet/Russian journals which I have encountered being mentioned in some Romanian books in which I've found the links to Russian books.-- (talk) 00:33, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
List of Russian periodicals articles to be checked below in separate subsection. Have I understood correctly, this upcoming Monday or Tuesday are you visiting the library?-- (talk) 18:27, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Of course the importance does not expire. But in the mean time, I'd like to ask about another variant that occured to me. Could these books be found on some Russian antiquarian nearby or online dealing used books? How much would cost? (I may register an account in order to get your email for further processing details of book aquisition including bank transfer. I have read somewhere about an American travelling to a major Soviet Russian city like Moscow or Leningrad in 1985 and seeing very cheap good science books at antiquaries.)-- (talk) 17:50, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
I can easily believe that was the case during the Soviet times and to a great extent should still be true today. From what I know, a scientist in Russia is not very rich and may even be poor if he/she doesn't receive extra money from commercial orders (which is the main source of money for them). Russian science isn't as great today as it once was during the Soviet times because the new state doesn't fund science nearly as active (which was a common argument why the system of the olden days was better back when people actively wanted it back).
As for your question. I was able to find the second edition from 1976 the second book you mentioned for 350 rubles (US$1 = 65 rubles, so this is slightly less than six dollars) and the first book for one thousand rubles (~US$15). Even cheaper prices can be found but these books are sold in other cities and as such those prices don't include shipping costs.--R8R (talk) 09:15, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. These prices you mention seem good enough. Meanwhile I've spoted some other Russian books that I wish to aquire. I'll list them. It remains for me to register an account to contact you by email and to be contacted back for the bank transfer operations. Also a procedure for browsing these sources and citing them on appropriate wikiarticles could be established given that you are a Russian native speaker and my Russian is very weak. Later I'll mention the 3 additional book titles.-- (talk) 12:00, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Here are the other 3(4 - found one more) book titles and authors:
  • G. A. Krestov, Termodinamika ionnykh protsesov v rastvorakh, Khimya, Moskva, 1973,
It seems this one can be found online.
  • ***, Voprosy fizicheskoy khimii rastvorov elektrolitov, editor G. I. Mikulin, Leningrad, 1968,
I was unable to find this one at all. The only site that offered it said they ran out of it.
  • Yu. Ya. Fialkov ..etall, Fizicheskaya khimiya nevodnykh rastvorov, Khimya, Leningrad, 1973,
Can be found online.--R8R (talk) 20:13, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
  • J. Nyvlt, Kristallizatsia iz rastvorov, (translation from Slovak language), Khimiya, Moskva, 1974.-- (talk) 20:08, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
This one can only be found offline; the only site with information on this book is temporarily down but claims having its database being updated.--R8R (talk) 20:13, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your search. Before I register an account and email you in order to acquire the available books I want to ask you an aspect I'll post above.-- (talk) 08:09, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
I'll monitor the market and reply later. Ping me in a week if I haven't done this by that moment.--R8R (talk) 20:27, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi. What is the situation of the market re the additional book titles?-- (talk) 11:23, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps the following (talk) pages electrical mobility, lyonium ion, Stokes radius, Einstein relation (kinetic theory), talk:ion transport number, talk:molar conductivity provide a context to the formula mentioned here.-- (talk) 21:29, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

The initial post about the mentioned formula in the first 2 books also concerns the page solvation shell and its tp talk:Solvation shell. Could you say something there? Thanks.-- (talk) 11:34, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, I've been away. I'll take a look within a few days (certainly not today, but I just set a reminder to do so later this week).--R8R (talk) 21:22, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
I searched for the books and added the info I found. Also, both books which are not easily available online are claimed to be scanned by this site, which, however, claims to sell scanned books.--R8R (talk) 20:13, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

List of Russian periodicals articles[edit]

  • A.K. Liashcenko, Zhurnal Fiziceskoi Khimii 50, 2729 (1976) solvation shells of ions
  • K.N. Baranov, same zhurnal Fiz. Khim., 35, 548, (1961)
  • E. I. Akhumov, N. S. Spiro, Zhur. Obsch. Khim. 19, 15 (1949), and 20, 201 (1949) math rel for mixed solvents solubility
  • E. I. Akhumov, N. S. Spiro, Izv. Sekt. Fiz-Khim. Analiz., Akad. Nauk. SSR 23, 22 (1953)
  • V.Belov, A. Rodionov, Iu. Sokolski, Zhurnal Priklad. Khim. 48, 1133 (1975) speed of sound in acid solutions
  • A. V. Kuprik etall, Zh Fiz. Khim., 50, 1582 (1976) variation of apparent molar vol at limit of total electrolyte solvation

These are a few titles. Thanks.-- (talk) 18:50, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Regarding the astatine problem again[edit]

I think I figured out how to deal with that without always catching myself and saying "stable".

Iodine is the fourth halogen, being a member of group 17 in the periodic table, below fluorine, chlorine, and bromine; it is the heaviest stable member of its group. (The scarce and fugitive fifth halogen, the radioactive astatine, shows various unusual properties due to relativistic effects and will not be considered further when iodine is compared with other members of its group.) Iodine has an electron configuration of [Kr]4d105s25p5, with the seven electrons in the fifth and outermost shell being its valence electrons. Like the other halogens, it is one electron short of a full octet and is hence a strong oxidising agent, reacting with many elements in order to complete its outer shell, although in keeping with periodic trends, it is the weakest oxidising agent among the halogens. Elemental iodine hence forms diatomic molecules with chemical formula I2, where two iodine atoms share a pair of electrons in order to each achieve a stable octet for themselves.

Now I no longer need to think about At when comparing physical properties, since these are not known all that well for At after all. I do not think there is any reason at all to mention Ts. Double sharp (talk) 13:52, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

I don't see the problem in first place. I would probably say "major" instead of "stable," but what's the problem with that. Astatine is a valid halogen, I don't think you need to exclude it as explicitly. It would make sense if you paid less attention to At than to I, but not neglected it at all. I really don't see why. As for oxidizing power, for example, it is clear that iodine just fits in line between Br and At. I wouldn't even deny 117 of coverage as explicitly (wouldn't cover, sure, there's nothing to cover, but not deny as intensely).--R8R (talk) 15:46, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm talking about the iodine article. Normally you want to compare an element with its congeners above and below it in the group, so in this case I can easily be compared with F, Cl, and Br. But At is really quite different, going into solution as At+ and forming complexes as if it were a metal. In contrast, have you ever heard of I+, or indeed any cationic chemistry of iodine at all in normal situations? Even in the halogen article I would still want to treat astatine separately. Already in the alkali metal article I have little sections showing how Li and Fr are somewhat distinct, even though that is less of essential character than degree for Fr (Li certainly is odd by the first-row anomaly). F deserves some notes too, but I find At too far away. Its differences are not just a matter of degree but also a genuine, curious mixing of the properties of a metal with those of a halogen, that makes it qualitatively different from the "pure-blooded halogens" Cl, Br, and I (and F to a minutely lesser extent). I think it deserves its own section in halogen, cordoned off from everyone else, unlike Po in chalcogen or Rn in noble gas, as the gap is just too large. (Also, my motto for this sort of thing is "what would Greenwood and Earnshaw do", and after their introduction they banish At and its chemistry to its own, final section.) It's not just the radioactivity; it really is very different, and the only reason schools tend to treat it as the fifth, unremarkable halogen is that nobody has enough At to really care very much. At least, that's my opinion on astatine as a halogen. But in the iodine article I do not really think it is appropriate to discuss astatine so intensely outside perhaps a brief note listing ways At is not a normal halogen, justifying the lack of comparison. Double sharp (talk) 01:55, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
A couple of thoughts jump out at me, that may or may not be helpful in this specific instance.
  1. Remember that instead of "compare", you could also "compare and contrast"
  2. Isn't O a bit odd within the chalcogens also? Does that provide any insight to how to deal with At? Or maybe, once you figure out how to deal with At, maybe that will provide some insight on how to deal with O.
Pardon my jumping in on this discussion. YBG (talk) 04:19, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
"Compare and contrast" would be the go, I reckon. There is a fair amount of source material on At as a halogen, and I as a metalloid, in the metalloid article, not forgetting the astatine article e.g. "Most of the organic chemistry of astatine is, however, analogous to that of iodine." Oh, I thought I would pile on :) following YBG's lead. Sandbh (talk) 07:39, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I'd be happy to compare and contrast if I was writing halogen. But it seems like too much when writing iodine. With At after all you do not have the well-known chemistry and the 1001 metallic halides for comparison with I when I want to say something regarding oxidation states (e.g. highest rhenium halides: ReF7, but ReCl6, ReBr5, and ReI4; but there is no known rhenium astatide). A fluorine-like model of chemistry for iodine is not very wrong while for astatine it is not even the majority.
Within the pnictogens and chalcogens, N and O are indeed odd, but those groups are far more heterogeneous. Look at the chalcogens. First you have O which is highly electronegative, enjoys double bonding to itself, and for which hydrogen bonds are important. Then you have S and its "big sister" Se, and then the slightly distinct Te, forming a reasonably happy family. Then all of a sudden, you get Po – a metal, forming rose Po2+ in aqueous solution! The situation there is so heterogeneous that Greenwood and Earnshaw feel the need to split groups 13–16 into two or three chapters; he splits the first element of group 13 (boron), and the first two each of groups 14 through 16 (C/Si, N/P, and O/S). But with the halogens, we return to the very clear family behaviour we see in groups 1, 2, and 3 – with the exception of At. The group then splits into F/Cl/Br/I and then the outlier At, which doesn't want to exist and hence gets swept under the rug by most chemists.
It don't feel quite right to me, when I is the subject of the article, to compare it to the heavily distinct At which nobody cares about to a first approximation. The Te/Po and Xe/Rn pairs feel better because there is not such a great difference (Te already has some metallic properties, and Rn is pretty clearly a nonmetal that acts funky occasionally). But I/At still feels too far to me, and At too unstable, for me to think of At as something to set up to compare against I, like F, Cl, and Br certainly would be. Double sharp (talk) 13:53, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I see your point. What I'm saying is, don't explicitly deny astatine of its halogen status. It is natural to talk about Br more than At anyway, given the fact bromine is far better-studied. Also, how the facts fit the story actually depends on the story that you want to tell. It seems to me that you want to tell a story of four halogens smoothly running down to increase metallicity while not yet being metals and astatine doesn't fit. What I would do is 1) notice that you're mostly discussing iodine and other halogens will have a minor role in your story anyway (you're describing iodine; while vertical relationships are an important aspect, there are plenty more). But then again, astatine perfectly falls in line and follows into the bromine--iodine--astatine trend. (I'd studied things about astatine a while ago, so I have my concepts of how that metallishness slowly begins at iodine; even bromine shows some signs of what comes down the table).
G&E is no model to follow, as great as the book is. (That is not to say we can't cite it, for example; of course, we can.) The difference I want to point you to is G&E relies on its two authors, G and E, and both G and E have been commonly associated with this book (though not only with it) and vice versa. That is, that book is authored content, and they are free to arrange their content in any way they want. Wiki, in contrast, is written for and by everyone, and different criteria are used. If astatine is not excluded from the halogens by anyone, we shouldn't either, at least this is how I perceive the idea of Wiki. There are sometimes things I want to put a more explicit accent on, but then I bear in mind this is general popular encyclopedia ("of the people, by the people, for the people"), and as such this makes me write content in a least authored way possible. If I were to write a book myself an out my name on it, I'd write it perhaps a little differently. In this case, the title says "halogen" and I'd just go and describe halogens in a constant, consistent manner; the title says "iodine" and I focus on iodine; talk little about astatine but also talk little about bromine. By the way, I asked this already, but can we please please please focus on the two opened projects for now and finish them?--R8R (talk) 18:33, 16 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry for appearing to be this scatterbrained, but I tend to end up like this whenever I encounter some difficulties in getting sections done, which is particularly true as we descend from the timeless aspects of an element to its human aspects. Hence the slowing down of pace as I find more and more research necessary to get things done, and why I have been looking very little at the last sections of Pb. But I will try to address your Th comments later today, at least.
With regard to iodine, I wrote a little more in the openings of the chemistry section in my sandbox to illustrate what I meant here. As you can see, past the first section, I try not to compare I too much with Cl and Br, because it is self-sufficient as well (kind of like how you asked me to not compare Th with U so much in that article). Besides, they have little differences, with Br having a marked reluctance to reach the +7 state due to its position after the d-block contraction. In compounds I really do not have enough astatides to really talk about a trend and there are too many exceptions (e.g. you would expect volatile astatine fluorides, but that's not what happens). I suppose where At fits in best is in physical properties, discussing how iodine shows some metallishness (semiconducting, and almost a polyatomic nonmetal; its structure is remarkably like Ga), but even there I am somewhat stymied by how we do not actually know what At looks like in bulk, much less its structure, so it would end up being an exposé of iodine's incipient metallic tendencies. If I wrote bromine later I'd talk about it there too. Oh, and yes there are also horizontal similarities with tellurium and xenon, but these are tempered by the differences in metallic character. I think xenon fits better, because a xenon in the +2, +4, +6, and +8 states corresponds fairly well with iodine in the +1, +3, +5, and +7 states, without the polymerisation business and intermetallic compounds that Te is capable of. But even this seems to be more important for the Xe article than the I article because Xe is not so happy to form compounds. It's like the situation with At vs I. We compare rarities (Xe and At) in their articles with common things (I), but we tend not to do it the other way round. Double sharp (talk) 05:34, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Sorry for not responding for so long. I got the idea I better spend a spare hour improving an article than writing another reply, which must be not too polite, but how can I ask you to concentrate on Pb and Th if I don't do that myself. As for Pb, there are three sections left; Etymology is essentially already researched and I just need to add that to the article; same for Secondary production which only needs another para or two anyway. The only section left is Bio (don't remember the exact name). As for Th, you know the standings. As you know, I'd love you to get back to either article. I know it's not the most interesting part on, but we need to complete the coverage. Wiki is a reward system (bronze star icons) for a reason :)
I keep feeling very guilty about how little I feel I have been contributing to Pb, even when I promised you the collaboration. This is largely because we've passed out of the area I am most comfortable with. I did (a while ago) expand the bio section with material from lead poisoning.
As for the second para, I'll take a close look tonight. I'm currently on the go and can't concentrate on what would require thinking and supposing.--R8R (talk) 16:25, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
I read your sandbox.
It really cut me off when you exclude astatine from the discussion because it's so rare. It's really disturbing. The term "halogen," which encompasses five (not four and a half; five) elements is for some reason contracted down to four. To me, it read like "you know, fluorine doesn't explicitly follow a few periodic trends, so I don't really like it and we'll cut it off, okay?" And then you mention periodic trends (electron config, Pauling, color, mp, bp, volatility) and astatine fits into every single one (possibly except for volatility; know nothing about this property)! (Think you're free to skip the horizontal trends; by the way, why is xenon a rarity?)
See, this is the problem. I agree about electron configuration and Pauling electronegativity, but how to continue the rest? The couple for iodine that is most important is I2/I, whereas we don't actually know if At2 is a thing, and it tends to form At+ rather easily in solution (which is something iodine doesn't do). Colour depends on how metallic At really is (and we don't know), and as for melting and boiling points, even the article says "Some experimental evidence suggests astatine may have lower melting and boiling points than those implied by the halogen trend." So we have a frustrating situation of "we don't know, and what little evidence we do have suggests that something different may be going on". Part of it is also a feeling of weight. Everyone in chemistry knows the gradation of oxidising power F2 > Cl2 > Br2 > I2, and I daresay they all have encountered the last three in the lab – and F2 is almost a legend: everyone knows of it, even though very few dare to use it. Astatine simply does not register in the consciousness here, because you almost certainly cannot use it, and even if you can, you cannot use it in the quantities you would like to for a normal element that isn't quite as suicidal.
Think about it in a different way. You're concerned with the four iconic halogens and there is that story of four iconic halogens, but for me now that I've learned about astatine, the story is wider. An exponential growth may look linear at some interval, if you're okay with a mathematical/statistical allegory. Actually, do you mind me editing your sandbox to illustrate what I mean? (I'll undo my changes once I'm done.)--R8R (talk) 19:54, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, please! Double sharp (talk) 02:59, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay! Today or in the coming days.--R8R (talk) 11:54, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
I think of Xe as a rarity in terms of chemistry. I mean, if you were writing about xenon, you might write "The chemistry of xenon in the +2, +4, +6, and +8 oxidation states neatly parallels that of iodine in the +1, +3, +5, and +7 oxidation states". This makes sense to me because iodine is something people know about, and you're comparing Xe, which is reluctant to form compounds, to it. But you wouldn't write in the iodine article "The chemistry of iodine in the +1, +3, +5, and +7 oxidation states neatly parallels that of xenon in the +2, +4, +6, and +8 oxidation states", would you? I also wouldn't include similarities to Sb and Te, but for a different reason: they are so rare that they do not really help understanding. The reason for ditching Xe for me is not because the similarity is poor (it's actually quite good), but because Xe chemistry feels exotic compared to iodine chemistry and is much less extensive. Double sharp (talk) 15:40, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
I see your point. Agreed.--R8R (talk) 19:54, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
In general, I think isotopes is a minor topic and doesn't need to be highlighted in its own level 2 section. There are exceptions where nuclear stuff does matter (thorium is an example), but it's actually minor for most elements. See fluorine for comparison.--R8R (talk) 19:59, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
OK, makes sense. Changed to a level 3 section. I would think of Xe as another example where isotopes deserve their own section. Double sharp (talk) 15:40, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Possibly. It's not like you would have a big Chemistry section anyway.--R8R (talk) 19:54, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

I think I like your version 1 the most, with additions from version 3. It neatly avoids talking forever about astatine and its differences, while still acknowledging it when it has something helpful to contribute to the trend without derailing the article. Double sharp (talk) 12:24, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

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A few comments re the Pb chemistry section[edit]

(Because I still have a few qualms, and to ease my guilty feelings)

Why do we say that the 6s inertness effect affects Pb only in ionic compounds instead of covalent compounds? We currently say it does – I mean, organolead chemistry is almost completely Pb(IV) – but do not explain why. Actually even inert pair effect is an incomplete explanation. It implies that the energy needed to get the s-electrons bonding increases down the group, but actually the order is the wonky Sn < Pb < Si < Ge. (Group 13 is not any cleaner as In < Al < Tl < Ga; in fact I noticed this when writing indium – two months ago and still no review? Thank goodness for that, already Fe needs a bio reworking and is actually almost ready apart from that.) You need to look at bond energy, which goes down as you descend the group so that the energy released in bond formation eventually stops being adequate compensation for that needed to get the 6s electrons involved. Also the 6s electron pair is not completely inert and manifests itself in complicated stereochemistry of Sn(II) and Pb(II) compounds.

Think it's fair enough to say "check" now.--R8R (talk) 21:15, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

In "Reactivity" – I thought we said in bulk properties that the surface layer was not Pb oxide?

Did we? Give me a direct quote, please.--R8R (talk) 19:41, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
"It tarnishes on contact with air, forming a complex mixture of compounds whose color and composition depend on conditions, sometimes with significant amounts of carbonates and hydroxycarbonates." Double sharp (talk) 02:59, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
I think the oxide must be pretty important in that mixture.--R8R (talk) 11:51, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Just found a ref to support me on this: "In moist air, lead quickly tarnishes, forming a thin layer of lead oxide on the surface. This can further react with carbon dioxide in the air to form lead carbonate. This surface layer provides a high degree of protection against further reaction under normal atmospheric conditions." This is probably worth rephrasing in the article.--R8R (talk) 12:24, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

We need to at some point mention how it is a normal thing that a metal is more electropositive in a lower oxidation state.

Cool one! Yeah, please do. This isn't the point of the article, however, so perhaps we'll have to explain some concepts that may be new to someone in a "as any enlightened person such as yourself would know" manner.--R8R (talk) 11:51, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Now that I'm looking at it, I am a little skeptical about this. This is like a super basic thing. Explaining stuff is nice, but everyone should be able to conclude that 2x2=4. Not really needed for the story here anyway.--R8R (talk) 21:15, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

lead's proclivity for catenation + tin – seems more like a general thing near the bottom of groups 14–17. I mean, look at all those polyselenides and polytellurides, to say nothing of all those polyiodides I mentioned in my sandbox. (See, my work on iodine hasn't been completely useless for our project!)

Not a hypothesis I'd look to confirm or disprove. Seems to be too minor for the short story here.--R8R (talk) 21:15, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

If you say lead(IV) instability doesn't affect covalent compounds, what's going on with PbCl4 and the heavier covalent tetrahalides? It is also partially a coordination thing: M2PbCl6 (M = Na, K, Rb, Cs, NH4) are pretty stable.

Can we mention PbSO4? It's quite familiar to the average high-school chemistry student from gravimetric analysis, like BaSO4.

Good one. Yes, we can. I'd even want to say a word on why it's so common in schools (I discussed this compound a lot back in school.)

Should we not have coordination chemistry as a section, like iron? (This is where the 6s lone pair proves that it's contributing.)

(Since I mentioned Fe: I think maybe the chemistry section I wrote with EdChem for it is very hardcore, but I tried to keep it as understandable as I could make it while trying to gently introduce people to these new topics – after all Fe was my introduction in high school to coordination chemistry and all the electron-related stuff like colour, spin, magnetic ordering. Granted Pb is less suited to this, being main-group, but it is a common element. So while I do think we should give a complete overview, we should also try to keep it accessible. It's just that I wouldn't do so by omitting, but rather by explaining, hopefully with as much enthusiasm as possible. Since you cannot not be neutral when describing the basic chemistry of an element, I would really like the reader to see that Fe chemistry section and think "whoever wrote this really loves that element and knows it like a dear friend"! And so it should be for Pb as well.) Double sharp (talk) 16:12, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Lead chalcogenides are cool because unlike the halides, the colour deepens with decreasing molecular weight (PbS black, PbSe grey, PbTe white). Cool point and easy to mention.

Meh. Sure, it's easy, but what's the point? I usually add cool facts to amuse the reader (and myself, sure) but how are we going to amuse anyone here? Also, the question that comes to my mind is "why?" and if we do explain why, it takes a lot of room and the story ain't that relevant... nah.--R8R (talk) 11:51, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
(arbitrary break)[edit]

Should we not explain how those Zintl ions work by bonding, since they are a major part of Pb chemistry – they are kind of like boranes...

Are they? I didn't explain Zintl exactly because I thought it was unimportant for lead (or any element), though I originally wanted to.
Greenwood mentions it upfront in "Chemical reactivity and group trends", as it is one way in which Ge, Sn, and Pb are similar to C and Si in catenation (although definitely not to the same extent). There is a boundary between groups 13 and 14 here: Pb likes to form discrete clusters while Tl tends to form various intermetallic phases. (Also, I think that if we're going to mention species like Pb2−
in such an article, we really ought to have an illustration and description, though that's just me. I don't think it's obvious enough for the average reader to get it.) Double sharp (talk) 03:07, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
What does a reader not get from the description we have at he point? Five atoms, formal OSes. What else do we need? The particular shape the atoms are arranged in is not that important. The thing is, G&E have lots of space for group 14, and it makes sense they found room to talk a little about this stuff and we only have one section in a Wikipedia article. Not sure yet what would be the best.--R8R (talk) 11:51, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
It is not that hard to explain in general: I just added two sentences, in which I also linked to a more detailed WP article. And actually, since covalent bonding is involved here, I think the oxidation numbers are merely formal and shouldn't be accented quite so much. Double sharp (talk) 04:03, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

There might not be "diplumbane", but there certainly are some Pb2R6 derivatives. There is even Pb(PbPh3)4. (Although you should probably define the organic symbols at least, or write them out in full. When discussing Fe(OAr)3 in the Fe article I really felt the need to explain that this "Ar" did not mean argon.) Also, we talk a lot about their production, such as how PbEt4 is the most-produced organometallic compound, but shouldn't we give a brief one-sentence note about how we make them? In my iodine sandbox I try to have a little on formation. Double sharp (talk) 16:05, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

In general, yeah, I've had the idea that Chemistry could've been better for a while but each time I wanted to fix it I immediately forgot what exactly I could fix I agree with your comments unless noted (things went better with Primary production, however); could you please make the change yourself per your liking (given some room for discussion is reserved)? If you make it and fix the Bio section (which still looks too much like a "wall of text" in some parts and empty in other ones) and just not really reader-friendly, that would be pretty collab-y, if you ask me.--R8R (talk) 19:41, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
OK. I must add that I do not actually have the answer yet for my question about why 6s inert pair effect doesn't affect covalent compounds, so that will require a little more research. Double sharp (talk) 03:08, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. The worst thing is that I knew the explanation a while ago, but I forgot to add it and now it's lost and we have to re-discover it again.--R8R (talk) 11:51, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Think it struck me what it was: in short, lead behaves similarly to carbon in its covalent chemistry because the core processes are similar: similar hybridizations, etc. At the smae time, carbon has no cationic chemistry. Hybridization stuff is not applicable (okay, it is, but not to the same extent) to ionic bonds and thus it's a whole different story, a story carbon does not tell. By the way, I finished the two sections that were short of completion. Now it's only chemistry and biology left. Potentially also Bulk properties, I never liked that section much.--R8R (talk) 12:27, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

re: francium electronegativity[edit]

I feel I should explain why I feel so strongly about this: the myth of super-reactive francium is a very old one and it refuses to die because schoolkids learning chemistry and starting with the nice and easy group 1 love explosions. While much effort has been done to combat this – see Peter Wothers' lectures on the alkali metals for a lay audience on YouTube (and please, try to ignore the ignorant comments below) – it is still a pervasive myth.

Furthermore, I would not like to show a demonstrably wrong value, even if it is the only one we have and is cited. To me, no value at all is better than that. (Besides, many of the radioactive-element values must be predictions. I cannot believe that Pauling actually assigned a value for nobelium based on its known chemistry.)

I wouldn't like to hide a well-cited value. There is actually a way out---writing comments right under the table. Hiding info just because it doesn't fit a particular point of view is something I couldn't agree with. A wider coverage is better than a "thin but good" one because it always depends on what you consider to be good.
Pauling didn't access No. He even didn't access some stable elements (like Nb, Hf, Ta, and a few other TMs and lanthanides).--R8R (talk) 12:40, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Because of the inversions in the trends at the rare radioactive elements (which are not well-known because of the expense of those elements: at high school I was taught the chemistry of groups 1, 2, and 17 as if caesium, barium, and iodine were the last elements in those columns), therefore, I think that any values for At, Fr, and Ra are quite suspect if they are not demonstrably from experiments, or at least from calculations including relativity, and should be deleted as potentially misleading. Double sharp (talk) 12:30, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

I do not agree with that. Comments near these values, on the other hand, are fine and maybe even desirable.--R8R (talk) 12:40, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
The notes (like we currently have) are fine with me. I still think that such values are undesirable unless they have an obvious warning like we currently have slapped on them, but I don't have a problem anymore with this. Thank you! Double sharp (talk) 15:11, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

the use of "superheavy" to mean "transactinide"[edit]

The latter is a chemical term and the former is a physical term, but now I think I know the reason: there is a funny coincidence here. If not for shell effects, you couldn't have nuclides with more than 103 protons (lawrencium) because there would not be any barrier at all against immediate fission, and Lr is also the last of the actinides from a chemical perspective. From this publication: "Superheavy elements are the elements heavier than Z=103. The stability of their nuclei can only be explained with shell stabilization effects. According to the liquid-drop model, these nuclei could not exist. Superheavy elements are also the transactinides. While 'superheavy elements' is mainly used in physics terms and 'transactinides' is the chemical name." Double sharp (talk) 10:09, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Interesting. Thanks for sharing! I assumed physics blindly followed chemistry as they are so interdependent with such unstable atoms same people run both sciences here anyway.--R8R (talk) 21:41, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
P.S. We may get real compounds of Cn and Fl soon. CnSe would not be favoured since Cn is so inert, but FlSe should be obtainable. Double sharp (talk) 10:11, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
It does make that impression, but is it actually going to happen? I can't find an exact quote to think of and say, "oh yeah, that proves these intentions, can't wait to see that."--R8R (talk) 21:41, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

alkali metal[edit]

I broke 200K! At this stage I do not think anything more is missing. If I've done it properly, the group 1 article should now have something for everyone. It now ranges from a first-year-chemistry patient discussion of the periodic trends to hardcore organometallic chemistry, hardcore relativistic quantum chemistry, and hardcore nuclear physics.

Granted, it's not yet the end of the journey from 2011, because I still have to actually submit it to FAC, but I think it's close to being over. Don't worry, I will not lose a sense of purpose after this, because I always said from 2011 that once group 1 was done, group 2 would be next, and it shall be so: you will get another 200K monograph from me!

One question I still want to answer is the weird electrical conductivity trend in the alkali metals, Cs < Rb < Li < K < Na; I've asked about that on the science reference desk. OTOH, since nobody I checked seems to answer this question, I'd be willing to let it pass if it really is not known. Double sharp (talk) 13:24, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

P.S. Apparently it has also surpassed the length of the article on Facebook, and is a hundred or so bytes away from being longer than Joseph Stalin. o_O The group 2 article would probably not be quite as long anyway, because there wouldn't be quite such a huge section on other similar substances (there's only Zn, Cd, and Hg that would be worth mentioning in this respect). I am amused that while much literature has been devoted to the pseudohalogens, I think Wikipedia may be the first to have collected the "pseudo-alkali metals" – the term is not new, but I've never seen them all together before. They are quite a ragtag bunch, including H, Cu, Ag, Au, Tl, as well as polyatomic organic ions of N, P, As, Sb, Co, Rh, and Ir! Double sharp (talk) 13:28, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

another Sc/Y/La/Ac argument[edit]

This metallic radius graph does not look nearly as nice with Lu, which would be around 174 pm and be uncomfortably far from Y. Double sharp (talk) 13:53, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Atomic radii show an opposite trend: Atomic radii of the elements (data page) (with Y having a radius of 180 pm, La 195 pm, Lu 175 pm; all values rounded to 5). But this is just raw data anyway, we don't analyze the reasons. In general, I've lost the feeling this question matters a while ago. Groups are human constructs anyway and as such may be used to represent whatever humans want. Opponents from both camps often even use the idea of a "group" to justify a trend they seem preferable (though commonly not saying that as explicitly).--R8R (talk) 14:42, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I think one good thing that has come up of all this thinking about it has been about what I think the fundamental principles of the periodic table ought to be. Maybe I could pitch it to Sandbh... I've got a short list of sweeping generalisations below:
  1. Elements in the same group have the same valences (perhaps confirmed by electron configuration), though maximum oxidation state might increase somewhat down the table because...
  2. Atomic size increases down the periodic table, and thus so does basicity and electropositivity (and thus metallicity). Related to this, higher oxidation states are more stable for heavier elements (e.g. CrO2−
    oxidising, WO2−
    stable; Cr3+ stable, W3+ reducing).
  3. The first period of each block is always anomalous compared to the rest (1s; 2s, 2p; 3d; 4f);
  4. Bond type shifts from covalent to ionic as oxidation state decreases for a metal (which also explains the high electronegativities in the third-row transition metals, especially spectacular for W and Au, for which high oxidation states are the stable ones);
  5. Elements always appear in order of increasing atomic number.
  6. Relativistic effects may change the precise principles involved in 1–4, but the main point stands: you place an element based on how well its proposed placement would allow you to infer its properties taking trends into account.
Doubtless there are more possible ones. So, my general principle here for element placement is that you have to look at these trends as opposed to superficial similarities to give a proper placement. Here's some cases to explain what I mean by applying these criteria:
  • Be and Al: despite the chemical similarities, they cannot be placed in the same group because Be is divalent while Al is trivalent. Placement fails generalisation 1, as confirmed by configurations [He]2s2 for Be vs. [Ne]3s23p1 for Al.
  • N and Bi: despite prominent chemical dissimilarity, they may be placed in the same group since +3 is a common oxidation state of N, as it is for Bi. This is confirmed by configurations [He]2s22p3 for N vs. [Hg]6p3 for Bi. Furthermore, this should not be unexpected because it forms part of the first-row anomaly.
  • Be/Mg/Zn vs Be/Mg/Ca: despite the chemical similarities in the former, the latter conforms better to the trend of increasing basicity down the periodic table, with the concomitant increase in atomic radius, instead of the general similarity in the Be/Mg/Zn trend. Electron configuration is inconclusive since all have s2 as valence configuration.
  • Sc/Y/Lu vs Sc/Y/La: despite chemical similarities in both groups, the latter conforms better to the trend of increasing basicity down the periodic table, with the concomitant increase in atomic radius. Electron configuration is inconclusive since all have ds2 as valence configuration. On the other hand, Ti/Zr/Hf is favoured over Ti/Zr/Ce despite Hf not being much larger than Zr, because Ce is impossible; it is clearly in the f-block from its fds2 configuration, and its +4 state oxidises water slowly (unlike Zr, for which the +3 state reduces water).
  • Ni/Pd/Pt: despite spectacularly inconsistent configurations (d8s2 vs d10 vs d9s), chemical similarities and oxidation states overrule it since +2 is the most common ion for all of them (though for Pt +4 is also prolific).
  • H/Li vs H/F: since H+ is more common than H, Li is favoured.
  • He/Be vs He/Ne: no-brainer for He/Ne, since Be has chemistry while He and Ne don't.
  • Hf/Th vs Hf/Rf: although Th admirably continues the electropositivity trend down from Hf due to its larger size, and even keeps the d2s2 configuration (and similarly Pa and U fit well below Ta and W), criterion 5 saves the day. Such a placement is impossible because if we skip a bit further and look at Cm, it is most clearly similar to Gd; both have the f7ds2 configuration and prefer the +3 state (with +4 possible for Cm, but that conforms well to increasing atomic size allowing higher maximum oxidation states). We cannot have Cm (element 96) placed before Th (element 90), as it would be if we placed Th under Hf. Meanwhile, Rf also has strong arguments in its favour, having the d2s2 configuration as well and being quite clearly similar to Hf, forming a volatile tetrachloride (how it was first identified). Having a d2s2 configuration does not prohibit placement of Th in the f-block because the primary criterion here is chemistry, not membership in the nonexistent simplifications that blocks are (what block is He in?), and relativity predicts destabilisation of 5f. (This also goes into the "first subshell is anomalous" point; 4f is actually poorly shielded by the core electrons and that is why it is so inactive. 5f is better shielded and gives the expected inner-transition character instead of the 4f main-group character.)
Do you think this set is worthy of being pitched to Sandbh? Double sharp (talk) 15:28, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the point in making this list in first place (sorry). It doesn't make an attempt to systematize things; it attempts to legitimize one such systematization, which has been around for quite a long while anyway. And I don't agree, for example, that the Sc-Y-La trend is the more important one because of increasing basicity: this is the case for groups 1 and 2, which are in the s-block, while the other (especially nearby) d-block groups don't show this. There is no way as I see it (for better or worse) to agree for everyone. Why bother anyway. I am personally even skeptical about Scerri's attempt to organize things via IUPAC: everyone is still free to disagree and that's fine.
And what should Sandbh react like? Assuming he likes it, what can he do next?--R8R (talk) 21:57, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
No, it's trying to say "if you have a choice, you should choose to conform with this set of principles". (Many of which I stole straight from Greenwood and Earnshaw, incidentally.) So, for example, despite the nice trends that show up, I refrain from putting B and Al over Sc because the p-electron brings different physical properties from the d-electron, whereas this doesn't rule out Sc and Y over La. It's intended as an alternative to Jensen's criteria for periodic table placement, given here. And like I said earlier, group 3 and the lanthanides are very much like the s-block, since the f-electrons are almost inactive (I could describe s-block + rare earths + Ac + Zr/Hf/Th as basically "electropositive metals with only one common ionic oxidation state" and it would fit very well); I'd even claim that thorium basically acts like an s-block element as well, as do zirconium and hafnium to a lesser extent (but not titanium, so group 4 cannot be considered wholly main group anymore). (Even physically. Most of them are soft metals that react with water, after all.) As for Sandbh, it might make an interesting response to Jensen, provided he thinks it's not completely wrong-headed.
P.S. Yes it is an attempt to systematise things, since I specifically tried to get it to work on other examples (and not forgetting Th under Hf, which is one of the most serious ones for a Sc/Y/La/Ac proponent). Double sharp (talk) 06:12, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
P.P.S. Certainly the d-block groups also show increasing basicity. Zr and Hf are more basic than Ti, for example. I think everyone agrees that the minuscule increase in size from Zr to Hf is an exception (lanthanide contraction), not the norm; later in the d-block, Hg is certainly much larger than Cd. And this is basically the point of my systemisation attempt – avoid creating exceptions whenever possible. When there is no choice, fine, but when there is one, avoid creating an exception to increasing size down the table. That's why I prefer La under Y, because Lu under Y is exceptional (lanthanide contraction) whereas La being larger than Y is exactly what you would expect from the table. Similarly, Mg over Zn is exceptional (d-block contraction) whereas Mg under larger Ca is exactly what you would expect. So the same argument that gives us Be and Mg in group 2 instead of 12 also gives us La instead of Lu in group 3. Double sharp (talk) 05:44, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay, building a counterargument for Jensen (since he is assigned with an important task on the matter) is indeed a good thing. I'll try to argue with what you wrote bearing that in mind, which means I'll try to make harsh but fair criticisms against your comments so you question your lines before passing them to Jensen, which will only strengten them. (But then still I don't see the reason to point out why, say, Ni, Pd, and Pt form a single group: would anyone ever question that? I am still skeptic about building an all-purpose table because I doubt there is a need for a all-purpose table. Some physicists even put He over Be, something they may find useful but a chemist would never do. If it's useful for them since they want to emphasize the physics part of the periodic table, why would you not be okay with it. However, Sc-Y-La/-Lu is a more important question that may need a solution. I doubt this is the case but this may actually influence the periodic tables of the future. Not sure, but let's see, shall we?)
I should explain that I am completely OK with tables showing Sc-Y-Lu or He-Be-Mg if they are trying to illustrate a point about filling orbitals. I just am not really OK with doing this in a normal table that is intended to explain chemical periodicity. There is no need for an all-purpose table, but there is a need for one that fulfils as many purposes as possible that can be given to students as "the" periodic table in a slight exaggeration of the truth. As for why I raised Ni-Pd-Pt: Lavelle raised in an article that arguments about electron configurations tend to run into the problem that they seem to imply that Cu cannot be placed in the d-block because it does not have the expected d9 configuration, or that Ag must be in the s-block because its differentiating electron from Pd is in an s-orbital. Hence I felt the need to address this by noting that there were limits and that chemistry must be brought in as a witness, not just ground-state electron configurations. Double sharp (talk) 06:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't like your reasoning and I'll try to explain why. In general, I think it's too vague and is sort of trying to escape the most problematic things (somewhat like that Jensen's IUPAC paper listing two main alternatives, Sc-Y-Lu and Sc-Y-La(which for some reason follows rather than precedes Lu) and for some reason not the common Sc-Y-La). Sometimes you just make statements and show no proof to argue with. I'll try to explain in detail.
  • "despite the nice trends that show up, I refrain from putting B and Al over Sc because the p-electron brings different physical properties from the d-electron, whereas this doesn't rule out Sc and Y over La" at this point, you stop your argumentation and why. What different properties are we talking about? why doesn't it rule out La? These are super important questions left unanswered
  • This is in Greenwood, p. 947: "[Although] a much more regular variation in atomic properties occurs in passing from B and Al to Group 3 than to heavier congeners in Group 13...the presence of a d electron on each of the atoms of [Sc, Y, La, and Ac] (in contrast to the p electron in the atoms of B, Al, [Ga, In, and Tl]) has consequences which can be seen in some of the bulk properties of the metals. For instance, the [melting and boiling points], along with the enthalpies associated with these transitions, all show discontinuous increases in passing from Al to Sc rather than to Ga, indicating that the d electron has a more cohesive effect than the p electron. It appears that this is due to d electrons forming more localized bonds within the metals. Thus, although Sc, Y and La have typically metallic (hcp) structures...their electrical resistivities are much higher than that of Al. Admittedly, resistivity is a function of the thermal vibrations of the crystal lattice as well as of the degree of localization of valence electrons, but even so the marked changes between Al and Sc seem to indicate a marked reduction in the mobility of the d electron of the latter."
  • La is not ruled out because it forms a consistent set of ds2 configurations with Sc and Y, in contrast to the s2p of B and Al (that reappears at Lr). If La were fs2, we should see a difference, and we wouldn't be even having this argument; but it is not. Double sharp (talk) 06:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
  • "group 3 and the lanthanides are very much like the s-block, since the f-electrons are almost inactive (I could describe s-block + rare earths + Ac + Zr/Hf/Th as basically "electropositive metals with only one common ionic oxidation state" and it would fit very well); I'd even claim that thorium basically acts like an s-block element as well, as do zirconium and hafnium to a lesser extent (but not titanium, so group 4 cannot be considered wholly main group anymore)." this is a very vague argument. (The following statement assumes periods 4+, since the d-block first appears in period 4.) If an s-block worth of elements (in fact, even far more than that: 19 vs. 8) in the d-block are akin to the s block, could it be that you define the s-block uniqueness too broadly? and to question your statement further, you're saying that these elements are similar to the s-block elements but you're not even trying to take a look from the different side and compare them with the d-block, which is not fair.
  • The characteristic properties of d-block elements, according to Greenwood, include a multiplicity of oxidation states varying in steps of 1 and a significant coordination chemistry, as well as high hardness, strength, mps and bps, and electrical and thermal conductivities. Sc, Y, the lanthanides and Ac do not show the first two properties. The third one is only shown by the smaller ones (the late lanthanides as well as Sc and Y), which doesn't prove much: it is also true of the smallest s-block element, Be. Next to them we have Ti, Zr, Hf, and Th: Ti at least shows +3 and +4 (fulfilling the first criterion), and these elements show a wide variety of coordination complexes (Greenwood: p. 967–971; 1275–1277), fulfilling the second. They all most certainly fulfill the third.
One (!) other element fulfilling the criterion breaks the rule? The idea of a group of elements not fulfilling the argument is less than that? This really looks like double standards in action.--R8R (talk) 20:10, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
No, I meant that Ti, Zr, Hf, and Th all form many coordination complexes, and all are hard metals with high mp and bp. Among them only Ti has significant lower oxidation states, but that's OK with me because they fulfill the other criteria very well, making 2/3 (and 3/3 for Ti).
In contrast, Sc, Y, the lanthanides, and Ac are not very happy to form coordination complexes, and especially the early lanthanides (and Ac) are quite soft metals. None of them have significant lower oxidation states, making at best 1/3 (and for some, 0/3). Double sharp (talk) 12:22, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks for making me have a look at this one again! I've tightened my definition of s-block-like properties to: (1) electropositive metals; (2) only one common ionic oxidation state; (3) reluctance to form coordination complexes compared with the archetypal examples in the d-block; (4) low hardness, strength, mps and bps. All of the s-block (except H and He of course) show all three, with Li, Be, and Mg being the most exceptional due to their small size, thus providing a limit to acceptable deviations. The rare earths and Ac display the first three, and the larger ones display the last as well. The similarity of the first row of the f-block to the s-block is quite well-known (cf. King's Inorganic Chemistry of Main Group Elements), where the 4f subshell that gets added is tremendously buried. Thus I claim that the situation of Sc/Y/La is similar to that of Be/Mg/Ca, where the first two members due to their small size have some d-block-like properties, but the trend towards increasing size means that by the third member, s-block character predominates. Double sharp (talk) 06:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I would limit this list to "being very basic in solutions and having valence 1 or 2." I think you're overdoing it to make your idea fit into reality.--R8R (talk) 20:10, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Your definition would also include Eu and Yb along with the s-block proper, though. I think perhaps "1 or 2" may be overdoing it to force group 3 out – +3 is low enough a charge that it can still be cationic without appreciable covalent character in Y3+ and La3+. The break between "can be ionic" and "really can't be ionic even with a huge hulking thorium atom" is more between +3 and +4. Even Th4+ very easily undergoes hydrolysis. Double sharp (talk) 03:04, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I think you're confusing the idea of basic metals in general with s-block-likeness. Sure, Y is somewhat basic and is somewhat akin to the s-block metals, but it's not a misplaced s-block metal or something. Instead, it is a true d-block metal and if it is somewhat different than group 6--11 metals then you're defining the idea of "d-block-likeness" too narrowly. (It is characteristic for a p-block element, in fact, an element in general, to have chemistry -- then what about Ne and Ar?)--R8R (talk) 12:07, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
It's not just basicity I'm looking at; it's also the lack of variable oxidation states. Note that this criterion is by no means original; it is the one used to kick group 12 out of the transition metals, and it applies similarly to group 3. Yttrium certainly is rather distinct from Zr–Pd, for instance; it acts like a lanthanide, and is the most similar to Ho among them. If I was trying to define the s-block, and I came up with "electropositive, basic, only one common ionic oxidation state", I'd not only end up including the alkali and alkaline earth metals (except Be), I'd certainly be including Y and the lanthanides. (Sc would be more debatable since it is like Al in its tendency to induce hydrolysis. It's quite small. But then again, does that not apply to Be as well?) Double sharp (talk) 12:37, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
"Note that this criterion is by no means original; it is the one used to kick group 12 out of the transition metals, and it applies similarly to group 3" Sure. But we're not discussing application of a term here; we're discussing how to draw the blocks in the PT, which is a slightly different issue. "Yttrium certainly is rather distinct from Zr–Pd" what about cadmium -- an unquestionable d-block element? silver? why is Y--Zr difference that great and is it even (what I know suits well into a picture of a more-or-less linear change in groups 1--5)? What came to my mind is that in order to convince Jensen, you should try to take his arguments (read his 2015 article in the end of this section) in account as well and I (as well as many others) would eventually reject a one-sided presentation of facts if I were to assess blocks. I think your presentation certainly leans
"If I was trying to define the s-block" I am absolutely positive most people would say something like "adding an s electron to the configuration of the previous element." no lanthanides involved.--R8R (talk) 13:37, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
  • "Certainly the d-block groups also show increasing basicity. Zr and Hf are more basic than Ti, for example." sure, but the step down in question was from period 5 to 6 (Rb to Cs, Sr to Ba, Y to what?, Zr to Hf, etc.), not from period 4 to period 5. Lawyers call this move of yours (intended or not) "substitution of notions."
  • I will address this to the next comment. Double sharp (talk) 06:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
  • 'I think everyone agrees that the minuscule increase in size from Zr to Hf is an exception (lanthanide contraction), not the norm; later in the d-block, Hg is certainly much larger than Cd." I especially condemn this argument. First of all, I don't like the weasel "everyone agrees" -- I disagree, for one; so does Jensen, perhaps. (In real life, I have trained myself against such weasel words as they are commonly overused (surely not by oversight) by media, and such words always ignite opposition to the storyteller in me and I am naturally compelled to take the following story with a pinch of salt.) Yet what is more important is how you make a comparison that makes me take your idea with another pinch of salt: you say that group 4 is unique and then provide group 12 as a counterargument. If you could do it with group 5, then it would be a valid argument, but there are seven (!) more groups between groups 4 and 12, and this similarity slowly fades rather than disappears right after group 4. From what I know, up to group 10 at least period 5 elements are considered closer to period 6 elements than to period 4 (correct me if I'm wrong). What is more important still, the lanthanide contraction you mention as the reason for the group 4 being an exception is valid for all of the d-block, including group 12 (which in my opinion nullifies the idea of the group 4 being an exception in first place). And for some reason, you're willing to deprive one d-block group of that property. That's why I don't take the following talk of "an exception if no choice is present is fine and is not otherwise." The group 4 trend is not an exception, or at very least you failed to demonstrate it is. Moreover, I keep thinking it is not.
  • Let me try this from a different angle. When periodicity first gets taught in school, the trend you tend to learn at first is increasing size towards the bottom of the table. This works fantastically in almost all situations, whether you use it from the Ln to the An, or from Na to K or Cl to Br. The one case where it doesn't quite work is for just four pairs of elements: Zr/Hf, Nb/Ta, Mo/W, and Tc/Re. These are the weird pairs that are almost alike.
  • And yes, I do really mean just four pairs. The effects of the lanthanide contraction have demonstrably dissipated by group 8. By the time of Ru/Os, we already see qualitative differences: Ru(VIII) is much less stable than Os(VIII), and unlike those four pairs I mentioned, they don't react in the same way under the same conditions. For instance, heating Ru in air gives RuO2, but heating Os in air gives OsO4. Furthermore, Ru chemistry has an important cationic behaviour in water (Ru2+ and Ru3+), but Os chemistry does not (on the contrary, Fe here behaves like Ru!). On the contrary, Tc and Re show many similarities. They both form M–M cluster compounds and both burn in air to give Tc2O7 and Re2O7; both burn in fluorine at room temperature to give TcF6 and ReF6. Unlike the strongly oxidising MnO
    , TcO
    and ReO
    are quite happy and are only mild oxidisers. I think this demonstrates a strong difference between Mn-Tc-Re where the last two elements are twins, and Fe-Ru-Os where they may still be brothers, but not twins. (As an aside, this is very useful in group 7, because it means that Re is almost always a near-perfect replacement for Tc.) I used group 12 because it is more striking – now Zn and Cd are the twins and Hg stands out – but already by group 8, the period 5 element is not more similar to the period 6 element than the period 4 element, but rather becomes truly intermediate between the two. So we progress from Fe strongly favouring low-oxidation-state cations, through Ru which is fine with both, to Os which equally strongly favours high-oxidation state oxyanions.
  • So, getting back to the point, since the principle "atoms get bigger down the table" applies almost perfectly with only four exceptions, I claim that Y/La is a better pair than Y/Lu because it does not add a fifth exception, instead adding another example to the majority. Double sharp (talk) 06:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
This is the very basics of why I disagree. I don't think it is appropriate to talk about four exceptions as it is only a part of that story. (Come to think of exceptions, we mention the lanthanide contraction in lead... not so exceptional, is it.) But then again, it's important to understand why the lanthanide contraction, which is present for all d-block groups, even exists -- because of the f-block before it. For some reason, one d-block group is deprived of this characteristic.
I don't see how those four pairs are weird (in contrast, Pd's electronic config is much stranger). This similarity is caused by a systematic effect rather than an unexpectancy, which is naturally expected to be strongest right after the f-block, like the d-block contraction is strongest in Ga and Ge. You can expect it. It's not elementary-school obvious---but science isn't in general. It's not all that unexpected either, after all. So, again, you can expect this effect to be strongest right after the f-block; lutetium fits the idea if considered the period 6 group 3 element very well.
"the principle "atoms get bigger down the table" applies almost perfectly with only four exceptions" But it doesn't mean it has to get to decide. Who set this in stone? Say, period 7 shows this effect as well, but to a greater extent. Pyykko even rejects the "atomic numbers increase right the period" principle. This is not the basics that the periodic table is built on, but this effect appears because of the actual basics -- the nano scale physics and electron configurations. Chemistry is derived from that basics, not vice versa (and even chemistry doesn't unambiguously prove that La stands under Y -- remember I said it was about preferences?) Come to think of that, there was an article which I don't quite remember (unfortunately) that discussed how La demonstrated f-block behavior. I think Sandbh brought it to us and you can ask him (add then add it to the list of ELEM links)?
I did ask him on his talk page a while ago, but apparently that conclusion is disputed now and we still don't have a "smoking gun" of lanthanum behaviour that cannot be explained without invoking the 4f orbitals. Double sharp (talk) 03:04, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
by the way, here's what I found in a pro-La-Ac article: "The answer is a resounding no. As the above examples illustrate, similarity (or trends) of properties is not the de facto standard for placing the elements in the same group. The placing of elements in the periodic table is currently accepted as a combination and balance of factors including the empirical observations: atomic number, properties, periodic trends, and atomic ground-state electron configurations."
"When periodicity first gets taught in school, the trend you tend to learn at first is increasing size towards the bottom of the table." -- yeah. But a good teacher puts a disclaimer that this periodicity talk is best suitable for main-group elements (mine did) and TMs aren't really talked about much in schools except period 4---a single period. But this isn't an actual argument anyway (I thought we were concerned with science rather than education? by the way, the same is said about electronegativity (remember Sn-Pb?)), so let's leave it there.
  • "That's why I prefer La under Y, because Lu under Y is exceptional (lanthanide contraction) whereas La being larger than Y is exactly what you would expect from the table." I think I made my point why my preference is opposite here
  • "Similarly, Mg over Zn is exceptional..." yeah, I don't like this argument as well. I don't like the staircase argument at all because I don't understand what it sits on. (and again, you don't show that.) Moreover, you're somehow (I don't even know how) not convinced by the B-Al-Sc (group III) argument but somehow Be-Mg-Ca (group II!) convinces you and I really fail to see why.
  • Group 2 convinces me because Be, Mg, and Ca all share the s2 configuration, leading to very smooth trends in mp, bp, density, and enthalpies of fusion and vaporisation. B-Al-Sc does not because B and Al have s2p while Sc has ds2, so that not a single one of these trends is smooth (plot them, you'll see! Or check Greenwood.). Since Sc-Y-La shares the ds2 configuration throughout, I find it more similar to the Be-Mg-Ca situation than to the B-Al-Sc situation. Double sharp (talk) 06:08, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, B-Al-Sc has no direct alikes in periods 4--6.. But how is Be-Mg-Ca relevant here? this is an s-block trend, it precedes the trend in question. Its equivalent in periods 4--6 would be Ca-Sr-Ba, not something in group 3. Why wouldn't you instead take a look at B-Al-Ga?--R8R (talk) 20:10, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
I find group 2 and group 3 analogous here for the reason that if you take Be-Mg-Ca and Sc-Y-La as the trends, then they both show s-block-like trends before an insertion. So the d-block insertion happens after group 2, while the f-block insertion happens after group 3. Like almost everything else in this whole argument, it seems to depend on whether you think group 3 is more allied with the main-group elements (in which case you conclude that La is the rightful heavier congener of Y) or the transition metals (in which case you conclude that Lu is). Double sharp (talk) 12:37, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Not convinced so far.--R8R (talk) 20:15, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
"So the d-block insertion happens after group 2, while the f-block insertion happens after group 3." no no no. You're supposed to prove that (the whole discussion is dedicated to that), you can't rely on this as if it already were.
Yes, well, I said "if you take...Sc-Y-La". So this is a description of what you get if you do that, not an argument. Sorry if I was confusing. (I wouldn't sink that low, I hope.) Double sharp (talk) 13:46, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay. But then, this isn't an argument, either, as basic logic would tell. If the statement "If A is correct then B is correct" is correct and B is correct, it doesn't mean A is correct in first place.--R8R (talk) 14:10, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
You're right, it isn't. I've run around in too many circles and confused myself. In fact, it doesn't quite work either way because if I am saying that group 3 is a quasi-s-block group, then I can't also say that the d-block starts immediately after group 2. I'm not even sure what I was thinking here, since this doesn't make sense no matter how I parse it.
Still, I think my identification of the main issue is solid: whether you think La or Lu fits better in group 3 depends almost entirely on whether you think group 3 is a main group or a transition group. Furthermore, I find that chemical properties tend to support Sc/Y/La (because they have the chemical attributes of s-block metals) and physical properties tend to support Sc/Y/Lu (because they have the physical attributes of d-block metals).
Absolutely agree on "whether you think La or Lu fits better in group 3 depends almost entirely on whether you think group 3 is a main group or a transition group".
For example, with Sc/Y/Lu you have a group of three metals with high hardness, mp, and bp, which do not tarnish in air and retain their lustre indefinitely, whereas with Sc/Y/La lanthanum looks out of place metallurgically. But with Sc/Y/Lu chemically, you have two amphoteric oxides (Sc and Lu) and one basic one (Y), whereas Sc/Y/La shows a reasonable trend (Sc has amphoteric oxide, Y and La have basic oxides). Even Ti/Zr/Hf isn't quite that strange. ZrO2 and HfO2 are almost the same in basicity, with Hf being just a tad bit more basic. But with Y2O3 and Lu2O3, we have a singular case where basicity decreases down the table instead of increasing. Make of that what you will.
There is no reason to my imagining why Lu couldn't be less basic then Y. The lanthanide contraction is only clear in that it decreases basicity. No limit is set by any rule I know.--R8R (talk) 14:42, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
Although the relevance of group 4 to the story is thickening, since if you look at chemical trends C/Si/Ti looks about as legit as B/Al/Sc according to Holleman & Wiberg. Double sharp (talk) 14:25, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
"Like almost everything else in this whole argument, it seems to depend on whether you think group 3 is more allied with the main-group elements (in which case you conclude that La is the rightful heavier congener of Y) or the transition metals (in which case you conclude that Lu is)" -- exactly! This is why I lost my interest in this question. I am pretty confident about my alignment but see no point in changing everybody else's points of view. It doesn't change much anyway.--R8R (talk) 13:37, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
In general, your position has strengthened. I still don't agree (I'll add notes where I especially disagree), but now we're at a point where we could have a more serious argument on the matter of a all-though-not-exactly-all-but-at-least-most-purpose table. Though by now, it seems to me that the issue breaks down to the conceptual question on what's more important to demonstrate in such a table. I think the ground reasons on which chemistry stands is the electron filling, and I don't see how it specifically violates chemistry (I'll explain my idea in a reply to one of your comments). Maybe Jensen thinks the same thing. (Also please don't tell him -Lu-Lr stands on nice rectangles -- the rectangles are a visual representation of the idea they stand on, not a thing themselves.)--R8R (talk) 18:05, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I wouldn't tell him that. He clearly has sound arguments on his side as well and I wouldn't want to damage the credibility of my Y-La-Ac arguments by ignoring them completely. Double sharp (talk) 03:04, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

To probably summarize the discussion (we may continue it if you wish but I don't see what else I could possibly suggest), I suggest you read these two articles: 2008 article (pro-La-Ac) and Jensen's response to it from 2015. Also you might get the idea of what Jensen might reply to you should you send him more of your notes.--R8R (talk) 20:28, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

I must also thank you for being willing to put up with yet another argument about group 3, because it really does help with organising my thoughts and sifting out the lame arguments! Double sharp (talk) 03:04, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
You're very welcome!--R8R (talk) 12:07, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

f-block tedium[edit]

I notice that after having helped with too many rare earths I feel a complete lack of motivation to do the rest of them, even when they are easy to spam quickly (really; I wrote Ce pretty quickly without much thinking being required), and I think this is because they are just too similar. I find La and Lu interesting because they have the position argument. I find Ce, Sm, Eu, and Yb interesting because they have variable oxidation states. I even find Pm interesting as the radioactive one, and Sc and Y interesting as "misfits" (Sc is weirder). But the rest? Meh. Pr and Nd act exactly like coloured twins of La chemically (it's even in their names), and the remaining heavy lanthanides Gd, Tb, Ho, and Er like heavy twins of Y. (I'd have put Dy there as well, had not someone already done it.)

(I do realise that Pr and Tb escape somewhat from this tedium in solids, but not in solution. These are almost exactly like the late actinides in tedium, except that they at least had interesting histories, while the general history of a lanthanide is more like "look at this cool new spectral line I found!", with a lucky few happening to be real, unlike for example the aptly-named "decipium".) Double sharp (talk) 15:35, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Do you think you could work up an outline of work-to-be-done so that we could have it in hand when someone comes along who wants to contribute but doesn't want to do the heavy lifting of poring through the sources? Such a simple-but-important project could even be a recruiting tool if we knew the right place to look for recruits. YBG (talk) 15:48, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Just take a break from them for a while. Maybe this helps a little. There's little I could suggest, but taking a break when tired something is rarely a bad thing.
Speaking of changing goals. Lead is almost done on my side and I'd want to have it ready for a pre-FAC copyedit by October (in fact, I'm leaving for a conference in mid-September, so best by then). It'll be great if you do what you outlined earlier on this page with Chemistry and fix the Bio section.--R8R (talk) 16:15, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
As soon as I figure out how to structure such a thing...
I haven't done a lanthanide in a while. I was doing a few in June and July but really got tired of it. As for what I think ought to be in a good lanthanide article, I'd recommend that a new user look at some of the ones that have already been done and extrapolate from there. I am quite proud of lanthanum and cerium. If you have Greenwood & Earnshaw, or Holleman & Wiberg, you shouldn't have a problem writing these things. Double sharp (talk) 01:52, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Sure. I just don't want to get stuck forever with it. There's still over three weeks until October and I think this will take five hours at worst unless you get passionate with the topic. The ideas for Chemistry, which you're pretty familiar with, are already formulated and are only waiting to get implemented.
As for me, I hope I'll go for a lanthanide FA one day (which, I think, will be Nd); not in the near future, however, as Fe, Al, and Db come first and I don't know how long they will take. Hope to have more spare time in October.--R8R (talk) 16:41, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Besides, I've arranged a pre-FAC look by a non-profi and I wouldn't want to leave him waiting for too long.--R8R (talk) 21:45, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I'll try to fix those last things in Pb. BTW I should add in response to YBG's comment that to write a great lanthanide article it would really be useful to have Cotton's Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry (which covers Sc and Y as well). Double sharp (talk) 04:24, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

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superheavy chemistry[edit]

Do you by any chance have this? Double sharp (talk) 14:40, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

sure: (talk) 14:44, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you!! Double sharp (talk) 15:00, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

regarding group 2[edit]

How would you refer to Ca, Sr, Ba, and Ra alone? I want to say "heavy alkaline earth metals", except that I can't really see Ca as heavy. Double sharp (talk) 04:39, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

don't know. Doubt there's a scientific term for that, so we'll have to use the means the English language provides us with. "Later AEMs," perhaps, since "later" is relative in English anyway.--R8R (talk) 12:39, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
"heavier" in place of "heavy" would also do.--R8R (talk) 13:15, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think "heavier" will work; thank you! Double sharp (talk) 13:49, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
You're welcome!--R8R (talk) 20:41, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

BTW, do you think you could take one last look at alkali metal after I work on Pb during your absence? I think it's relatively complete now. It would mean a lot to me, since I have been working on it for almost six years now. Double sharp (talk) 16:17, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

"do you think you could" -- absolutely yes; not certain now when as I came back just a few hours ago. Ping me later, 'kay?--R8R (talk) 21:24, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Pb again[edit]

The Fe GAN just passed, and I got a comment that seems like it would be relevant to Pb as well: should we not look at the cultural and symbolic use of the metal? Double sharp (talk) 08:52, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

"should we" -- yes, we should. I've given it a lot of thought since I first came up with this idea. After all considerations, I think separate Culture sections are needed for iron, silver, and gold only (and maaaybe copper). This should be covered for other metals as well, but this wouldn't require as much action. For example, I already mention the density of lead as its well-known characteristic. What else is lead known for? Poison -- we have yet to write that section. Guns -- we mentioned that, sort of. What else?--R8R (talk) 21:29, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

a principle[edit]

The usual principle for deciding where to place compounds seems to be to just put them with their most electropositive element. Thus I'd put cyanides and thiocyanates down as carbon compounds. (I think the C article should focus more on inorganic carbon chemistry, since there is less of that, and give only a summary of the richness of organic chemistry, because that needs a link.) But equally clearly you have to compromise on this as you go to the right side of the table, or else the F chemistry section becomes empty. There are also unclear cases like nitrogen-phosphorus or nitrogen-sulfur compounds. So I think that if I write this up (I'm still thinking of writing a guide for new WP:ELEM editors), I will have to phrase it as a principle, and note "not so applicable to nonmetals!", while telling them that while starting with sulfur might be cool, it's not the best way to learn. (I would suggest starting with group 2 or group 17). Double sharp (talk) 04:44, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Why not just say that, say, sodium chloride is a compound of sodium and a compound of chlorine? That would be more accurate, by the way.--R8R (talk) 04:48, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Of course it is, but do you focus on it in the Na article or the Cl article? That's the issue I'm talking about. Double sharp (talk) 08:41, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
I realized that. But why don't you focus on it in both articles, since it's a major compound for both elements? Coverage in sodium doesn't prohibit coverage in chlorine and vice versa, and NaCl is important for both elements.--R8R (talk) 20:16, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Well, I suppose there are cases like that for important compounds like NaCl and H2O, but even then it is mostly for simple compounds. I don't think anyone would cover EtOH in the O article; only the C article makes sense. Further, if I consider SCN- as an anion, none of these three elements seems to have much of a claim to it. Double sharp (talk) 01:43, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
I see now what you had in mind. "The usual principle for deciding where to place compounds seems to be to just put them with their most electropositive element" -- I think the reason for that is not linked to electronegativity: it just happens so that a nonmetal is more common in chemistry than a metal and that relative rarity is why the metal is more characteristic for a compound. Besides, for each element the element is the boss. There are many similar chlorides for chlorine but only one zinc chloride for zinc, so that compound gives more information for Zn than Cl, which is easy to describe with tons of other examples. I don't think there's a specific rule beyond this.--R8R (talk) 18:32, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
OK, but then what do I do with compounds like IBr? I have a rewrite of Br in progress in my sandbox (on hold for the Pb chemistry section and responding to the group 3 debate). But I can't see if I should have IBr under "bromides", "interhalogen compounds", or save it entirely to the iodine article since it is iodine bearing the partial positive charge that gives its unique character; bromine just acts normally here. Double sharp (talk) 04:03, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Depends on what you want to tell. There are different ways to organize this sort of information to produce a good article. If you think iodine needs it, given the way you're writing the article, add it. If you think bromine does, mostly irrespective of what you've made with iodine, add it. However, I doubt you'll need the compound for both articles. It just depends on what you want to write to say which you you should choose.--R8R (talk) 06:09, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Lead: finally closing the chapter on sp3 hybridisation[edit]

From this paper:

Bonds with the resulting nonorthogonal hydrides [of the heavier main-group elements] tend to be relatively weak. This is important to realize when one wants to explain the inert-pair effect, that is, the increasing instability of the highest oxidation state of a p-block element when going down the group (compared to the state reduced by two electrons). Drago explained the trend by the generally weaker bonding with more diffuse orbitals, which are less and less able to compensate the required promotion energy to construct the hybrid orbitals needed. However, closer analysis shows that the "promotion" to the required valence state does not occur, or occurs only incompletely. The formed nonorthogonal hydrides make relatively weak bonds, and it becomes thus more favorable to remain in the lower oxidation state. Here, the valence s-character is concentrated in a free electron pair at the central atom, and the bonds acquire predominantly p-character.

Electronegative substituents increase the size differences between valence s and p-orbitals at the central atoms. Hybridization defects are thereby enhanced, and the resulting covalent bonds are weakened. This explains for example, why organoelement compounds of the heavier p-block elements in their highest oxidation states are actually often quite stable (sometimes the lower oxidation states are even unknown or postulated only as reactive intermediates), whereas substitution of organic groups by more electronegative elements destabilizes the higher oxidation states. As a good example, we may note the relative stability of organolead(IV) compounds compared with the instability of typical inorganic lead(IV) species. Electronegative substituents increase the positive charge at the central atom. Bonds to it therefore tend to shorten when more electronegative substituents are present. As increasing hybridization defects tend at the same time to weaken the bonds for heavy maingroup elements, this may lead to the seemingly paradoxical situation that shorter bonds correspond to lower dissociation energies. A breakdown of the usually assumed correlation between bond length and bond strength results.

Finally I found an explanation we can use and be pretty sure the readers will understand! ^_^ Double sharp (talk) 08:34, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Great! I love it. Waiting for this to go live.--R8R (talk) 12:06, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I've been shuffling and reshuffling through the Pb chem section offline, so when you do see it in a few days, prepare for a surprise... ^_^ Double sharp (talk) 14:06, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

regarding why so many of our chem articles have lame to nonexistent history sections[edit]

I daresay I know why:

(He makes it clear on the next page that he feels this applies in general to all "men of science".) I'm not sure I'd want to agree with this, but I cannot deny that it is a deeply ingrained feeling even as I want to protest that it shouldn't be that way. Double sharp (talk) 08:05, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

I'm not so sure. This can't be universally applicable. First of all, many great sources do take the time and go for history. That 2006 book, a great book on lead I have, a source I'll later want to use for aluminum. Second, now that I can bear the pretentious title of a published mathematian, I've been to a couple of conferences and seen many people. They (at least those who I have seen) have very great appeciation of those whose shoulders they stand on. What comes to my mind is that history of discovery of something is not the main point. This explanation seems much simpler and probably convincing to me.--R8R (talk) 10:38, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
You give the explanation I want to believe. ^_^ Maybe views changed significantly about this between 1940 and 2016. Congratulations on the RL achievement, BTW!
Note that this may also be a cultural difference between my country and wherever your author comes from. Thanks!
He was English, if you were wondering. (Which does explain pretty well why I occasionally have a similar feeling, come to think of it, though it is very much muted since times have changed somewhat.) Good to know it is not like that everywhere – it's not a feeling I like having. Double sharp (talk) 09:40, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
I've got to ask something about Pb. How much comparison with the lighter group 14 elements do you think we should have? I'd want to mention some things like the stereoactivity of the non-bonding lone pair (reluctant to stay that way for Ge, causing significant distortion for Sn, and then not really at all for Pb). But at the same time I'm not sure Ge is so relevant here – it's fairly nonmetallic and there is not really a Ge2+ cation (and C and Si are even less relevant; I wouldn't even mention them). So mostly the comparisons would be with Sn, but in this case the differences mostly boil down to what Sn has that Pb doesn't. So what do you think? Perhaps only when talking about inert-pair effect down at the bottom of the p-block? Double sharp (talk) 11:25, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
I don't think we should dig too deep into theoretical nuances for the purposes of here. Also, lead is a self-sufficient metal and many sources compare it only with other such elements. Had it been a rare element, I could change my position on this, but here, I think we should focus on properties someone actually finds useful for something. That applies to stereoactivity as well: if you can somehow link it to lead's behavior, than let's see.--R8R (talk) 12:42, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

article request[edit]

Hi, do you have access to this and this? Would be useful later when we return to Th, to talk about 5f involvement. Double sharp (talk) 13:29, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

sci-hub works fine for the former article. There are some problems with the latter and my smartphone, but I presume it will work if I try to to access it from my laptop.--R8R (talk) 15:41, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Ah, thank you so much! I really should make a note of this wonderful resource. Double sharp (talk) 15:57, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

Whether or not to separate "experimental chemistry" as a section[edit]

I think there's a difference between elements from 107 onwards, where chemical knowledge is restricted to "one-hit wonder" studies of one compounds (BhO3Cl and HsO4) or the metallic state (Cn and Fl), and the multiple chemical experiments on the elements until 106 (we know aqueous Rf, Db, and Sg chemistry), after all. Personally I'd set the division at 106 instead of 103. Double sharp (talk) 10:12, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

P.S. I've looked at the Db article. I'd rather not step on your toes right now while you're still writing it, but would you mind terribly if I took a look through and edited the prose after you're finished? (Oh, and the Pb sections are going live tomorrow.) Double sharp (talk) 10:13, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
Of course, I wouldn't. However, I'd want to note the current text isn't meant to be the final version. I'm not even yet confident about its structure, let alone prose. You can, however, assume that the History and Isotopes sections are more or less complete and copyedit them if you want.
Can't look at the moment at all these transfermiums. What division do you have in mind?--R8R (talk) 11:03, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm referring to the fact that (for example) lawrencium doesn't separate experimental and predicted chemistry, while copernicium does. I wrote seaborgium in the former style but bohrium in the latter style because I felt there was more experimental stuff in Sg to justify it, whereas Bh chemistry is restricted empirically to one known compound. Double sharp (talk) 11:25, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I see. The first thing to come to my mind is that practical results are the real deal and should be treated separately from theoretical predictions. I'll, however, make a decision once I get to experimental chemistry.--R8R (talk) 13:10, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
But is the demarcation really that clear? For an element, we would want to explain its chemistry in terms of its electron configuration, which is all very well. But for elements 103 and up, the exact electron configuration is not clear. (Lr is s2p in the gas phase, but is calculated to prefer occupying the d-orbital when chemically active in compounds like LrCO.) So I want to start by saying "a seaborgium atom has 106 electrons arranged in the configuration [Rn]5f146d47s2", but we don't know that. I want to give standard electrode potentials confirming how experiments could not get Sg in any oxidation state other than +6, but they are theoretical. (Same with Lr already, in fact.) At least up till element 106 we have a sizeable empirical chemistry that we can explain through predictions. It's only from element 107 onwards that the empirical chemistry known is very limited, and predictions are predicting new compounds instead of the stabilities of known compounds. Double sharp (talk) 09:49, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Personally, I'd say there is no demarcation other than what's been written by authors. As an author, I probably wouldn't want to have one in first place and rather have all chemistry of all superheavies (past what? That could be a thing to have a demarcation for) divided into predicted and experimental. (As you've had a chance to notice, I have quite retouched my view on how much depends on an author here, in Wiki, too. Don't want to label my writing as mine forever, but do want keep my writing in a good shape. If it doesn't read like mine anymore, but is still good, so be it. What would be the point of Wikipedia otherwise?)
As for element 106, I wouldn't want to start off with "has an electronic configuration of..." if we haven't measured that yet. That sort of contradicts the scientific method that stands behind the modern science in general.--R8R (talk) 15:56, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
I seem to be out of date now about electron configurations, since NIST provides them up to Hs without any of the old qualifications they used to have for Lr and Rf being tentative. Double sharp (talk) 07:27, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
I have seen your post at WT:ELEM. I did a very brief look at the source the pdf referred to and I couldn't find anything; the look was very brief and I remained silent. Later I found it there, so yes, probably it can be seen as confirmed now.--R8R (talk) 16:43, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

Pb chem section[edit]

I've tried to make a reasonable compromise between our preferred formats (now live). Double sharp (talk) 09:20, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

This looks fine! I'd, however, want to note a thing: it is a little strange to have a subsection called Properties/Chemical and directly after that a section called Chemistry.--R8R (talk) 09:53, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. Maybe I'll move it up to between "physical" and "isotopes".
P.S. AcO is one of those annoying compounds that people don't seem to agree on whether or not they are organic. Where do you think the Pb salt should go? Double sharp (talk) 10:18, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
I'd still love you to look for more distinguishable titles for the header and subheader. It's always better when you can easily tell the difference just by looking at the title. My initial suggestion would be to rename the subsection to Chemical reactivity or the like. There were a few mistakes I'll later correct (and again, you're free to undo my changes). Then we can invite the "casual non-chem-profi" reviewer.
As for the compound, the easiest way, which I would've probably gone if I had been writing this, is to skip the compound altogether so nobody is confused. If you, however, do want to add that compound (probably please don't overlook it), then there are two options to choose from: say that the compound is not organolead (no Pb-C bonds, and lead is the star of this show) and go for the subsection on lead(IV). Or just see what story you want to tell and tell it.--R8R (talk) 06:46, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
It's a pretty important reagent in organic chemistry, so probably the organic section would be more suitable in my opinion. Double sharp (talk) 09:32, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
It's probably not the thing I would do, though if you do feel like that's the right to do, go for it. Just add some context (half a sentence should be enough; "It's a pretty important reagent in organic chemistry" is quite it).--R8R (talk) 10:23, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

condensed-phase studies on Db[edit]

Well, there is one. From the thermochemical data, Db is expected to be a pentavalent metal with electron configuration [Rn]5f146d37s2, with the 6d and 7s electrons delocalised (the valency increases straightforwardly from divalent No to pentavalent Db as you add 6d electrons). Double sharp (talk) 09:31, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Does it explicitly say that? Point me to that, please.--R8R (talk) 12:14, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Not completely explicitly, but Haire gives predicted enthalpies of sublimation, vaporisation, and adsorption of the elements 95–105. Es to No fall on the divalent line, but Lr falls on the trivalent line like Cm. He also writes "Included in this figure are also the values estimated for the first two transactinide elements (elements 104 and 105), which presumably have 'effective' metal valances above three." Looking at the trend line, since No and Lr are explicitly stated to be divalent and trivalent metals respectively, Rf would have to be tetravalent and Db pentavalent, just as their lighter congeners Hf and Ta. Double sharp (talk) 14:16, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

just a note re the Jensen arguments[edit]

In many cases the Jensen arguments are lame. Some of them are disputed (4f involvement in La is highly suspect), some have been superseded by newer data (both La and Lu are superconducting at low temperatures), and even the chemical arguments stemming from the differences between Y and La (which aren't present for Lu) are simply a result of the larger size of La3+ as compared to Y3+.

Noted. I will, however, add that the larger size of La3+ as compared to Y3+ is a big part of the deal to favor the -Lu-Lr config, as I see it, and it's incorrect to just ignore it as if it was nothing. (I never really saw strength in the superconductivity argument anyway.)
I agree that it isn't nothing. I think we just disagree on whether that is important for placing an element in the periodic table. I would tend to note that if you look at the crystal structures of MX2 (M = Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba; X = F, Cl, Br, I), you will not find a single alkaline earth metal or halogen that leads to a uniform set of structures. The reason, of course, is increasing size down the groups: thus the coordination number of M increases from 4 (Be) through 6 (Mg) and finally to 8 (Ca, Sr, Ba); and as X goes down the group, the trend moves away from three-dimensional structures like fluorite, with BeX2 (X = Cl, Br, I) forming chains and the others forming layer-lattice structures. But despite this structural potpourri where the twenty alkaline earth halides form ten different structures, no one doubts that groups 2 and 17 still form nice, happy families. I would conclude from this that increasing size down the group is absolutely normal and it cannot really be used to exclude a placement. Double sharp (talk) 04:38, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

But most damningly of all, I could use the exact same arguments to "prove" that Be and Mg do not belong in the same group as Ca and should be moved to above Zn. For instance, Ca dissolves in liquid ammonia but Be, Mg, and Zn will not; Ca metal is fcc while Be, Mg, and Zn are hcp; the mp and bp trends show a discontinuous jump from Mg to Ca but decrease smoothly from Mg to Zn; Ca has low-lying empty d-orbitals that can be used for bonding while Be, Mg, and Zn do not; CaX2 and MgX2 for X = F, Cl, Br do not share the same structure; Be and Mg have a rich organometallic chemistry like Zn while Ca does not. Yet no one would agree with that today. If I can use such arguments to "prove" that Be and Mg belong in group IIB instead of group IIA, but you wouldn't be convinced by it, I don't see why they should be any more convincing when applied to proving that Lu and not La belongs in group IIIA. Double sharp (talk) 01:51, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

What this says to me is, "analogies are not necessarily correct." This implies both what you just said and, for example, electronic configs of lanthanides (by the way, La and Ac not fitting in line are not too surprising, and neither are Lu and Lr, so that adds little to discussion, if I am correct). You're actually hinting directly into into why I still like -Lu-Lr better: I think the general principles should allow square blocks and stuff, and the -La-Ac is a customization of the general principle (in one sense). But it's up to people to decide if they want to use that customization, so I can't really have myself arguing for my position, including myself.--R8R (talk) 20:32, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
Regarding electron configurations of lanthanides, when it comes down to it, what pushes me most of all to -La-Ac is that La and Ac do not have any f-involvement at all. If you look at Schwarz's paper on the Aufbau problem (the doi is 10.1021/ed8001286), you will find that, while trends for the energies of the s-orbitals tend to be quite smooth, the d-orbitals tend to suddenly collapse and "fall off the cliff" on the graph only when they start being filled: the same is true for the f-orbitals. He writes, "In the series of elements, (n − 1)d collapses below ns only after group 2, and (n − 2)f only after group 3." Thus 4f is inactive in La just like 3d is inactive in Ca, and the f-block must therefore start at Ce and end at Lu.(1) The trends can easily argue for either way and I agree that the electron configurations of Ce–Yb can support either point. However, I find it completely antithetical to the point of delineating an f-block if it includes elements like La and Ac with no f-involvement at all. This to me completely excludes the possibility of putting La and Ac in anywhere but the d-block. (Lu and Lr are fine in the f-block to me, even though the 4f/5f shell has become full and chemically inactive, because the same is true of Zn, Cd, and Hg at the end of the d-block or Ne and Ar at the end of the p-block. They also form the last step from Yb and No to the completion of the f-subshell, just like Zn completes the d-subshell from Cu.)
I think I've seen Jensen say the opposite: lanthanum does have some freshly discovered f character. Do you happen to remember that? Did it convince you (I think I vaguely remember so did back when you liked -Lu-Lr better)?--R8R (talk) 16:59, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
It did convince me then, but there are two reasons why it doesn't convince me now. The first reason is that it was never a very sure thing. You can get the correct structures of La and Ac if you completely ignore f-orbital involvement, but not for Ce and Th (even though Th is still d2s2 in the gas phase). The second reason is that I do not think La showing f-character in excited states is a big deal. Ca, Sr, and Ba show d-character in excited states too, and their d-bands are low enough in energy that they actually are pretty close to the Fermi level and thus contribute. In fact, CaF2 in the gas-phase is substantially bent and the hybridisation has been shown to be sd (Greenwood and Earnshaw, p. 117): the same is true of SrF2, SrCl2, and all four barium dihalides. Yet we don't call Ca, Sr, and Ba d-block elements. Since the de facto position on placing elements is to look at what is occupied in the ground state (yes, that includes 5f for Th), then just as Ca, Sr, and Ba are s-block elements from their s2 valence configuration (they finished filling the s-subshell), La and Ac ought to be d-block elements. Supervalent hybridisation is cool but we already have a precedent of not allowing it to influence periodic table placement, since it's not actually a thing that happens at standard conditions. Double sharp (talk) 04:29, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
(1) I do not think he could possibly have meant "group 3" as meaning Sc-Y-Lu, because it is known that the energy-level order in the lanthanides is 5p << 4f < 5d < 6s < 6p, which implies that 4f must have fallen below 6s before the lanthanides started. He can only have meant, therefore, a table where group 3 occurs before the lanthanides start, i.e. Sc-Y-La. This agrees with the quantitative data from NIST in which Ac never shows the [Rn]5f17s2 configuration. Double sharp (talk) 07:14, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Other than the question above, very interesting. I certainly find it great that you're begun to dig so deep into this now that IUPAC is working on this. I am not willing to give up my take on this, and I think everyone is free to make their choice. Now that there's a big decision coming, however, it'd be great to include as many relevant factors into consideration as possible into making that decision, and I'm glad you're taking part and digging into details as it seems important to you. I've admired this stance in Sandbh for a long time and I'm beginning to admire that in you.--R8R (talk) 16:59, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! It means a lot to me that you think my detail-digging is approaching his level. ^_^ Double sharp (talk) 04:31, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

element 113 chemistry[edit]

I found a newer paper than the ones we mention in the article: do you think we can start calling it a full-fledged member of group 13 and PTM now? Double sharp (talk) 16:21, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

Responded. Should we set up a set of rules to not have to think about this every time there is some new publication?--R8R (talk) 17:10, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I'd argue for a set of rules. How about: "For uncharacterised elements up to 116 (Lv), it needs to be proved that they (1) act like metals and (2) act like the lighter members of their respective groups. Elements up to group 12 will be considered TMs and anything later will be PTMs." (If we change the definition, substitute "12" with "11". IUPAC's Red Book simply says "3–11 or 3–12", after all.) But then what to do about 117 and 118 (Ts and Og) when they finally get chemically characterised? Since they're not expected to be metals (and this is probably the only time in our lifetimes that we will encounter this situation), I think we do not have to worry about this right away, but it's good to have something in advance. Double sharp (talk) 03:38, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
Sorry. Read this yesterday and immediately forgot. Your plan for elements up to 116 is fine with me. Re 117 and 118: we don't even have to decide straight away now. It's not going to happen within a few months and the number of involved editors is small, which points a long-term decision is unnecessary, if not unproductive.--R8R (talk) 14:56, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
OK, so we'll decide on 117 and 118 when the time comes. Nevertheless, I think having a good rule for 109–116 is a good idea because they (well, except 116) can be investigated with current technology, so we'll use this. (Anyway, elements 108 to 116 are all predicted to be very noble metals.) Double sharp (talk) 15:02, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

the exact quote from the Red Book[edit]

"For example, the elements of groups 3–12 are the d-block elements. These elements are also commonly referred to as the transition elements [this is the 3–12 definition which is OK per IUPAC], though the elements of group 12 are not always included [this is the 3–11 definition which is also OK per IUPAC]; the f-block elements are sometimes referred to as the inner transition elements [but we don't use this because nobody does, since the lanthanides and actinides are too different]." Double sharp (talk) 14:49, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing. Personally, I'd want to use either definition and definitely nothing else.--R8R (talk) 14:58, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
I agree, d-orbital participation is too complex to deal with (where do you draw the line? does potassium count because it takes on the [Ar]3d1 configuration at high pressure? does cerium count because it has a [Xe]4f15d16s2 configuration?). Both of these are nice, clear-cut boundaries that make the statuses of the elements clear without having to do matrix-isolation studies at 4 K for everything contentious. Double sharp (talk) 15:05, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
What if, however, they do demonstrate a Cn(IV) species?
That is not a current problem and shouldn't affect the current specification. But what if?
We'll then look through the literature and see what the general consensus among scientists is. For example Jensen was of the viewpoint that even if Hg(IV) did exist it didn't really matter, while the original paper claiming Hg(IV) was very clearly in favour of turning Hg to a transition metal. Double sharp (talk) 04:39, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

one more thing for you to use for general superheavies[edit]

This issue is an absolute godsend. (I have an SD subscription, but in case you don't, you probably have a good idea what to do!) Double sharp (talk) 15:23, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Again, I again read something and then immediately forgot.
Super cool. I'll save that link in the WP link pile.--R8R (talk) 16:10, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

seaborgium again[edit]

Seaborg put it this way: "Because of the competing claims, the two groups agreed not to propose a name for element 106 until it could be determined which group had priority for the discovery." (10.1021/ar00054a003) Double sharp (talk) 14:01, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

I did think I had exaggerated the link between the Cold War and the Transfermium Wars in dubnium. I'll think about that. Though, as a conspiracy theorist in me is kicking, maybe he had to keep things between the two diplomatic for whatever reason?
Not so sure about that, considering that at the time he wrote this article Russia and America were already collaborating on Ds. Double sharp (talk) 15:57, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Technically, it doesn't mean it wasn't the case and that now all chips, even the old ones, can be put on the table. That's how a relationship between people could work, but not international diplomacy.--R8R (talk) 16:07, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
And one more time about lead: We are finally approaching the FAC: we're only a few ref formattings away, which I hope can happen today or some day soon anyway; Sandbh's copyedit, which is going in a fine tempo; and fixing those {{cn}} tags and whatever other ref problems that I've described at your talk page. We have to get refs for those facts. There aren't too many; let me ask you to turn to that so we have it done.--R8R (talk) 15:39, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm trying to find those. You will understand of course that if even you had to deal with lame refs until now, it's not going to be much easier for me since you probably have the bulk of offline notes for this article. ^_^ When I find them I will let you know. Double sharp (talk) 15:56, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
I make notes in my head, but there's nothing that I write down anywhere. (If it was easier for me than for you, why would I even need to bother you.) That's one reason why I want to get something done in a continuous process.--R8R (talk) 16:07, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
I suppose that's one of our many differences – I have lots of fragments written in lame Notepad documents (hence why I could interrupt the superheavy spamming for several years at a time and come back to it without anyone noticing a difference between, for example, Bh and Hs or 119 and 120). Double sharp (talk) 16:19, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Reference errors on 18 November[edit]

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I think you would appreciate hearing the story!


You can also hear Oganessian talk in English! Double sharp (talk) 14:41, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the story indeed! It was a very interesting read, and a very inspiring one: I now want to add some details on 117 and 118 to those perspective articles. Also I was very pleased to learn the scientists didn't follow the geopolitical battle of which their countries, and I'll make note of that for any possible future articles on superheavies I ever get to write. Really want to run for 118 FA now, but it's already there :) nonetheless, I'll add some info to that article later. Actually, there's lots of great stuff in that article and I'll want to see how much stuff there can fit into the Wiki format.
As for Oganessian speaking English: come to think of that, it's not all rhat surprising. It makes sense that the Dubna stuff also wants to learn the language of the other team(s) so it's easier to connect with them, keep track on what they're doing, etc. As a kid, I remember being (pleasantly) surprised Russian was a working language for all space explorers, be they astronauts or cosmonauts just for that reason.--R8R (talk) 19:36, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
P.S. The selenide experiments have been announced in this article (though apparently not yet published)! Both Cn and Fl form selenides (we can soon add +2 to the list of oxidation states for both), but the copernicium selenide forms at −20 °C while the flerovium selenide forms only at −90 °C. Double sharp (talk) 14:54, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Great to know. Too bad we can't tell how long it will take to get to testing in, say, micro quantities! I'd want to know what we could learn.--R8R (talk) 19:36, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

next steps[edit]

From this (2016) and this (2009; this is much the same):

  1. Attempts to make heavier isotopes of the known elements (up to 118 and perhaps 119!) by using even heavier and more neutron-rich actinide targets like 250,251Cf (maybe even 254Es for a few years later...) This would at least hopefully get us the daughters of 294Lv, 295Ts, 295Og, and 296Og (which as you know may lead to the island with electron capture, though that would be difficult to detect today...) (See this for more details on refining these targets.) The heavy oganesson isotopes will apparently be first (though maybe after that we'll try to get the 2n channel with Bk by setting the excitation energy to the minimum?)
  2. This may also increase the cross-section just enough so that even the poorer and more symmetrical fusion reactions with heavier ions (e.g. 50Ti, 54Cr, 58Fe) may yet be successful with RIKEN-esque patience (like for 278Nh)! This may get us all the way to element 124...and the possible reaction 251Cf(58Fe,n) would get us to 308124 with N = 184!

Double sharp (talk) 05:07, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

P.S. And if you wanted to know how the 50Ti beams are enriched... Double sharp (talk) 05:27, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
P.P.S. Sorry for spamming but here is a cool article from Oganessian and Rykaczewski. Double sharp (talk) 05:33, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Why, I do like your spamming (though I'll read the last article later). I am still keen on the whole idea of massive neutron captures and I do hope experiments as long as the Japanese one will never take place again as the technique will be improved (I seem to share that attitude with Dubna). I understand the limitations, though. Yet one can hope.
Very interesting to learn about those plans. Too bad this won't hit the general press as discoveries and namings did.
What I found funny is that they included a shot from The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon stands in front of a board filled with various formulas unrelated to what is claimed in the header of that slide, all (except for that table with numbers) I have seen previosuly somewhere here, in the English Wikipedia :) --R8R (talk) 15:56, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't say I hope no one will ever do something like spend a decade to find three atoms of a millisecond-living nuclide. If it gets the element discovered sooner (like Nh), I can't complain. And this is especially wonderful for Japan, restoring some pride in its scientific accomplishments after Fukushima, like the IUPAC citation said! So if they go that route, taking years to make 119 and 120 as Cm + V or Cm + Cr, and succeed, I would be happy too! There's a place for both extending the limits of current techniques (as RIKEN can apparently do) and making new ones (as the JINR has been pioneering). And yes, I did find the Big Bang Theory picture amusing, especially if you think about where the accurate electron configuration info for 113 to 122 could have come from... ^_-☆ Double sharp (talk) 02:12, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Submission to IUPAC task force on the composition of group 3[edit]

Hi R8R Gtrs

Double sharp and I have prepared a submission to Eric Scerri's IUPAC taskforce. Are you able to review it and give us your thoughts before we submit? Thank you, Sandbh (talk) 08:35, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

I'd love to do so. Hope to start on Wednesday. Or, if that doesn't happen, during the weekend.--R8R (talk) 16:52, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
@Sandbh: I have finished the initial version of the review; it can be found at the talk page of your letter. Will look forward to responses.--R8R (talk) 20:32, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
I think you have some excellent comments there that expose how much Sc-Y-La-Ac is unconsciously ingrained in my head as my mental PT! And I agree that many of the -Lu-Lr arguments there are weaker. I think Sandbh intended it as a summary of everything that had been suggested to either end by anybody, but this of course neglects that some such arguments are actually not very good.
Do you think we should try to supplement this by writing some good Lu-Lr arguments, or rethink the whole chronological approach? I think you (is it?) mentioned a good one along the lines of "blocks and Aufbau are a very good principle; thus we shouldn't break it unless, like He, some other placement is much more compelling; and this obviously isn't so for La vs Lu"? Double sharp (talk) 00:34, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

R8R, your comments are gold. They'll give me and Double sharp much to think about. I did intend to summarise everything that had been suggested, and I like the chronological approach because it can show how thinking has evolved about an issue. Some of the responses are written the way they are because that is the way, for example, Jensen argued his point with his comparisons to groups 4–10+, rather than only 4–5. I've so far only scanned your comments, and read through them quickly, and should be able to do a line by line review tomorrow. I liked your comments about emotional v. scientific language. Sandbh (talk) 07:40, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I am glad I could somehow contribute to the letter you want to send.
As for good -Lu-Lr arguments: they're already there, they just need some re-assessment. That argument of mine you mentioned is not particularly strong. It's the sort of things that feels right to me, but what one may feel another may not. You critiicize a similar argument of Platonic symmetry; I can't really argue with your theses against it and find them valid.--R8R (talk) 21:31, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

why I'm still uncomfortable about calling Ts "117"[edit]

Because that's not really how we deal with most elements.

When we talk about the discovery of Hs, even though it wasn't named immediately, we don't call it "element 108". Just about every children's introduction to the PT and its history will say "in 1984, Münzenberg et al discovered hassium", and not "they discovered element 108 and once confirmed it was named hassium". Now that hassium means element 108, we analyse the discovery retrospectively and consider those first atoms as the first hassium atoms synthesised. I get the impression, if anything, that an element gets a systematic name only before the first atom is found and is good enough science to publish and be accepted. (Notice that everyone considered Z = 112-116 to be known in 2005 even way before Nh and Mc were IUPAC-approved in 2015.) After that it is treated as though it was known and confirmed, just like elements predating IUPAC.

That this point is not just my concern is shown by the fact that some other IPs (not me) have once again edited the "117" in the symbols "293117" and "294117" to "Ts", like I did. I won't insist on either, but I'm telling you this to show how the average reader apparently feels. Double sharp (talk) 12:07, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

I think it's a pity we don't treat nost elements in my way (I wouldn't apply my way if I didn't think it was better). I would say they discovered element 108. The very best idea about my way can be found in the history of element, say, 105: they didn't discover dubnium, they discovered element 105. First of all, this points at the idea tgat the atomic number was the big deal. Second, that element wasn't even named dubnium almost three decades after its discovery. That name wasn't even suggested by anyone until 1993. Third, see that book I quote a lot in the article: it also often refers to dubnium as to hahnium. I don't blame it for doing so.
And I would do precisely the same for a stable element, except as it wasn't looked for as a new value of Z, but rather a new chemical identity, and thus I would refer to it as to "a new element" or the like.
As you can see, my reasoning doesn't really contradict yours. Which points you to the idea it's more of editorial choice.
As for the idea that this implies that that's what the average reader thinks: not necessarily true. You wouldn't think the average reader who dag down to the IUPAC June 2016 announcement was unable to find out the names weren't official just yet. It's more of there are people who want to take part in a way they can, however small and meaningless tge change. I respect that and never mess with such activity unless it makes the article worse. But I see someone added back the exact date of tge naming to the lead. That ruins date formatting (would leave it alone if the change was consistent, affecting all dates) and will be undone. Same here: ruins the stylistic of the text and will be undone. If someone rewrote the whole thing and made the text less interesting, but more straight fact-y, that would be justified (I wouldn't like it, but would leave it there if someone did: Wiki's not my encyclopedia). Now, it's a negative change.--R8R (talk) 17:38, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Just to muddy the waters a bit, I note that the lede of Charles Hatchett says he "was an English chemist who discovered the element niobium.", not "element 41" or even "columbium", which is what he actually called it. YBG (talk) 23:46, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I think that's okay for the lead section. It just needs to give the facts fast, so no time and space or even need for long intorductions and precisely following the chronology. I'd say that would be okay even for most element articles. I did that with the lead of tennessine back when it was ununseptium. Would do the same today.--R8R (talk) 14:54, 13 December 2016 (UTC)


I just remembered that I wrote one article where the problems are stark due to all the discovery claims: element 102, nobelium. So I looked through it (this is from 2014), and while I called it "element 102" with symbol "102" when detailing the discovery, I called it "nobelium" and "No" when analysing it in retrospect. So I say, for example, that the American team claimed to have discovered 255102 (or whatever isotope it actually was), and then I give the now known properties of 255No and note that they don't match. Maybe it's not the best solution, but it corresponds to how I would naturally talk, for what little that is worth. Double sharp (talk) 11:34, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Makes perfect sense to me.--R8R (talk) 13:58, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

RFC closed[edit]


I have closed an RFC you participated in at Template talk:Periodic table#RFC: Should this table follow the IUPAC version for lanthanides, and actinides?. Consensus was found for using the Sc-Y-La-Ac periodic table. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Tazerdadog (talk) 06:05, 8 January 2017 (UTC)