Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Elements/Archive 17

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Base metals or poor metals?

I can find references in the literature to all, or nearly all of the individual poor metals being referred to as base metals. 'Base' has some helpful connotations: as in 'low born'; low melting point; low hardness; low metallicity; low absolute strength; 'base' as in buttressing the metalloids, or the pedestal upon which the true metals (alkali metals, alkaline earths, Ln, An, TMs) lean.

An issue is that the Wikipedia entry for base metals already has two further different meanings for base metal, one supposedly in chemistry, with examples given including iron and nickel, and another one in mining and economics: as non-ferrous metals other than precious metals i.e. the definition covers more than just the poor metals. Another source says that the term base metal derives from the jewelry industry where Fe and Ni serve as the base metal for coating with noble metals. Still another source says that all metals above hydrogen in the electrochemical series should be called base metals, noting that the phenomenon of over voltage confers a certain degree of nobility on the metals from lead to manganese in the series. Having said all of that, there is no strict or uniformly accepted definition of base metals anywhere, as far as I can see. So if the poor metals were instead called base metals we would either be overlapping or sub-letting other more or less loosely defined conceptions of what base metals are. I guess this is no different really from the wooly terminological jungle in this part of the periodic table, and the 14 other options identified to date.

I see that neither the IUPAC Gold Book nor the Red Book gives a definition of a base metal; the OED says base metals are those not classed as noble or precious. Merrian-Webster says: a metal or alloy (as zinc, lead, or brass) of comparatively low value and relatively inferior in certain properties (as resistance to corrosion) —opposed to noble metal.

What do others think? I'm not sure myself, in light of the other meanings of base metals. Sandbh (talk) 11:25, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Simply: we shouldn't go there. Too much detail for a PT. Both by graphical and textual needs. Remember that our category naming is about our presentation only; we are not stating there is one single definition. We just choose a principle by which to leave out details (not saying that these details are wrong). No OR. Doing so, we have found a presentation form for all general periodic tables (like, use "poor metal"). At the PT detail level, even large ones, that serves the target very good.
If we want to present multiple categories, or with variable contents, the PT is not the place. The category/color scheme can handle just one dimension well (as "period", "group", "atomic number" each can). That dimension is complete (replacements can be done/are being done, additions or mixups not I say).
Even worse for base metals. The chemical/physical list of "base metals" is not straightforward. Then there even exist completely different definitions for "base metal". So this would need two more dimensions in category ("not a base metal by reference X" is for shifting border, and "base metal in jewelry" is for a wholly different definition).
Within a PT, we could do it this way: build a wall-size PT consisting of all infoboxes, the infoboxes extended with all such (in itself correct) secundary, tertiary category information. Even on that wall, the footnotes could be bigger that the PT itself (it is nigh impossible to show such a mixup graphically, right?). This would be correct, extreme, and possibly useless. I do not want to squeeze more info in the category dimension. (I even start opposing all & any "mixing of categories" in the PT's -- we must use other ways).
The other route is: describe it in-topic, as detailed as needed. Page poor metal very well can have a section on the overlapping, different-defined post-transition metals, base metals, .... group 3 elements a section for its variants (Scerri). -DePiep (talk) 12:13, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I was going to reply, but DePiep has already said everything I wanted to (and then some), so I'll keep this short. I think "base metals" is a bad idea, due to its ambiguity. "Poor metals" at least has a better definition that doesn't contradict with established usage in other fields. Double sharp (talk) 12:22, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
'Base metals' sounds nicer to me than 'poor metals', but the multiplicity of alternate definitions makes it simply unworkable, so I agree with @DePiep and Double sharp:. YBG (talk) 15:26, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Of course, either "Poor Metals" or "Base Metals" are equally acceptable for categorizing Wikipedia' periodic table. Both choices demonstrate risible Undue Weight for an element category that isn't taken seriously in any reliable or authoritative source such as the Journal of Chemical Education, any IUPAC publication, or any high school, college, or advanced chemistry textbook used in the UK or the USA. Categories should continue to be chosen that turn the periodic table here into a laughable joke in order to appropriately maintain Wikipedia as a laughable public resource for science and for science education. Flying Jazz (talk) 18:36, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Since you think it is so laughable, doubtless there must be something better. You appear to know what that might be; so please suggest it to us. I don't even like "poor metals" completely myself (as you point out, it doesn't reach the acceptance level of our other categories), but unfortunately it seems to be the best available name for this group of metals. Just to start off, "post-transition metals" doesn't work because Al isn't one; "p-block metals" doesn't say anything that isn't obvious from the periodic table (and hence is not very meaningful); "other metals" is similarly not really meaningful; and "B-subgroup metals" doesn't work because it includes Cu, Ag, and Au. Double sharp (talk) 03:38, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm glad, Flying Jazz, that you can use the word "categorization" here without confusion. You must have picked that up from en:Wikipedia. And glad we can make you laugh, in a topic where students are crying. -DePiep (talk) 04:51, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Here are a few pertinent references that mention 'poor metals':
  1. Beran JA 2010, Laboratory manual for principles of general chemistry, 9th ed., John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, ISBN 9780647899
  2. Bouroushian M 2010, Electrochemistry of metal chalcogenides, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 9783642039669
  3. Hill G & Holman J 2000, Chemistry in context, 5th ed., Nelson Thornes, Cheltenham, ISBN 0174482760
  4. Mason RP 2013, Trace metals in aquatic systems, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, ISBN 9781405160483
  5. Radi HA & Rasmussen JO 2012, Principles of physics: For scientists and engineers, undergraduate lecture notes in physics series, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 9783642230257
  6. Reid D 2011, Science for the New Zealand curriculum Year 11, Cambridge University, Cambridge, ISBN 9780521186186
  7. Vernon RE 2013, 'Which elements are metalloids?', Journal of Chemical Education, article ASAP, doi:10.1021/ed3008457
  8. Wah LE 2007, Longman effective guide to O level chemistry, 2nd ed., Pearson Education South East Asia, Singapore, ISBN 9810600070
I guess references 1 and 3 may have seen some use in colleges, given they each have several editions under their belts. References 6 and 8 are included as examples reflecting high school curricula, both Singapore and New Zealand having strong colonial (UK) links. I presume references 2 and 4 may be counted as advanced chemistry textbooks. Reference 7 is the Journal of Chemical Education reference. I included reference 5 to show that 'poor metals' is used in fields of science other than chemistry.
Yes, I agree: let's not use 'base metals'. Sandbh (talk) 10:55, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Your truly impressive list of supporting evidence has completely changed my mind about Undue Weight. An actual citation from either Singapore's O-level or A-level syllabi themselves, which are both easily found online, would have been unconvincing. Everyone in education or educational publishing knows that curricula published by government authorities on websites are nonsense, and the actual curriculum content is always only described in guidebooks published by Pearson Education. Great job finding that valuable resourse. As for the remaining references, I have no doubt that they also support a standing for Poor Metals that is on a par with other element categories. No Undue Weight there. We are in agreement. Flying Jazz (talk) 12:35, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Is this sarcasm, or genuine? (I can't tell. I need my sarcasm detectors adjusted.) Double sharp (talk) 13:49, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, maybe more specifics will help. Let's say you were looking for an example of a high school curriculum that teaches Poor Metals, and you wanted to demonstrate that this is the case in Singapore. Would you go to the actual A-level H2 syllabus or any one of the ten textbooks recommended on page 47 of that document from the Singaporean government? Of course not. Would you go to A-level H1 syllabus or any one of the textbooks recommended on page 24 of that document? No. Look at the textbooks on page 24 of the second link and page 47 of the first link. They're the exact same! Obviously, that means that don't describe what's actually taking place in Singapore's schools. It makes both documents highly suspect. How about the O-level syllabus itself? No. Those three links and 10 textbooks all miss the critical point brought up by Wah in 2007 in his brilliant "Longman effective guide to O level chemistry" that Poor Metals are part of the Singaporean curriculum. Now all that's left is for Singapore itself and the textbooks recommended for use in Singapore to catch up with Wah's description of what's important for Singaporean students to know. Pearson Education saves the day once more! Flying Jazz (talk) 14:33, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Do you work in education? As in, explaining things is your job? -DePiep (talk) 14:57, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Is my background and job relevant? If the great master Wah himself were a frequent contributor to this project, playing a personal role in leading this noble and admirable crusade to drag first Wikipedia, then Singaporean schools, and then IUPAC itself and the entire world, all kicking and screaming against their will, into the new and grand era of Poor Metal emphasis while also changing a huge number of other Wikipedia articles to reflect his superior intellect and huge explanatory power, would that be relevant? Flying Jazz (talk) 16:00, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Just asking. You invoke many educational aspects, which could be from a relevant background and so worth expanding from. On the other hand, you have not been able to explain or clarify a single point, what to me contradicts any educational base. -DePiep (talk) 07:54, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
@Flying Jazz:: That the recommended textbooks in each syllabus are the same doesn't mean anything particulary significant. It just means that the teachers involved will mostly only use those parts of any particular textbook that are more relevant to the syllabus in question. I note the sixth textbook on the syllabus list is Chemistry in context 5th ed., by Hill & Holman, who use the poor metals category.
As per Double Sharp's observation, if you have a suggestion that is better than poor metals please share it with us. Sandbh (talk) 11:19, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I applaud your view that Hill and Holman "use the poor metals category," and their use is a justification for editors here to use Poor Metals as an element category with equal weight to Transition Metals in Wikipedia's Periodic Table colorings and categorizations. Of course, Hill and Holman do not "use" the poor metals category in their table, but that is easily ignored because it does not support The Truth and The Best Way Forward. In addition to not using Poor Metals in their table, these authors write at one point, "The term 'poor metals' is not widely used." But that discouraging sentence should only encourage editors here to do the Right Thing for the world. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea (outlined at pages on Undue Weight policy) that terms without wide usage must be overemphasized in Wikipedia's science pages in order to Make Things Better. And, of course, the idea that the term "base metals" is similar to "poor metals" in the sense that both contain a multiplicity of definitions is also soundly refuted by Hill and Holman's text. At one point, when they are describing metals as electropositive, they write, "How do very poor metals such as gold and platinum occur in nature?" In the everyday use of the word "poor," their question is sound. But, because those authors would support the view (were they only here with us) that Wikipedia's table should include a color for Poor Metals, they must have misspoken. So the phrase "poor metals," unlike "base metals" is obviously difficult to misinterpret. Hill and Holman agree, despite what's actually included in their textbook. I applaud deception and manipulation in all its forms, and I applaud misusing the publications of other people to drive home a point that they never made in order a achieve A Greater Good. Flying Jazz (talk) 19:36, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm not even going to bother responding to this one. Double sharp (talk) 01:48, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Could you tell if I was being sarcastic that time? Flying Jazz (talk) 02:27, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Obviously you were. So? Double sharp (talk) 02:40, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Hill and Holman use the poor metals category in their two periodic tables on pages 39 and 40. For the record, the sentence in question on poor metals says, "The term 'poor metals' is not widely used, but it is a useful description for several metals including tin, lead and bismuth." Their question asking, "How do very poor metals such as gold and platinum occur in nature" is a reference to these metals as very poor reducing agents (p. 276). On the poor metals category in general I note that the American Chemical Society uses this category in the periodic table that they include with new member welcome packs. If you have a better suggestion than poor metals please post it here. Sandbh (talk) 04:54, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Just to throw more wood in the fire: As I learned, as a chemist, there're only noble metals, metals and half-metals (metalloids). All other designations are unofficial. That's why I voted neutral up there. Though I think it's alright for categorization.--AlchemistOfJoy (talk) 16:10, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
These don't fill my periodic table. -DePiep (talk) 18:55, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
re AlchemistOfJoy
The categories you mention are OK and enough if they float your boat. All fine. But there are some objections though to use them to categorize the periodic table.
- You say "there are only". I think you can agree that, outside the field of operation you have in mind, there are more valid categories.
- You say there are no categories for the non-metals at all. So not even a category "non-metals" ;-).
- Clearly "noble metals" is a subcategory of "metals". We'd have to mark them as being "metals" too, otherwise we would imply that metals and noble metals are complementary. In other words: they form a secondary dimension, a detailing dimension. Mixing category detail levels this way is confusing (or would require a very detailed and complicated explanation).
-DePiep (talk) 07:46, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Agree Sure you can categorize on Wiki in many different ways (including Category:Nonmetals). And yes, noble metals are metals too! I just wanted to give the chemistry perspective on the topic 'base metal' vs. 'poor metal'. As far as I understood the group of base metals are nothing but the "un-noble metals", is that right?--AlchemistOfJoy (talk) 10:27, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Almost certainly so; but it creates a problem: surely Fe is a base metal? Doesn't this create a lot of unnecessary overlapping? (i.e. you could avoid the overlapping by just using "poor metals"?) Double sharp (talk) 08:30, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • We are not necessarily here to fill DePiep's periodic table. I agree with AlchemistOfJoy that this categorisation is not as universal or as important as the TM, alkali metals etc. If we had to have one or the other I am not very sure. Poor metals does not seem that widely used in the real world and may be pushing us into WP:UNDUE or even WP:OR territory. Base metals is a better term I think. But when it comes to stuff like this, we should be very wary about going beyond most undergraduate textbooks (say) and I am not convinced that these sources are using either term. What's wrong with just calling them metals? --John (talk) 20:02, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Because it describes almost all the elements on the periodic table, and not just these metallish elements that happen to fall in groups 12 to 16. Therefore it endengers a misconception that the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, rare earth metals, actinides etc. are not metals. Double sharp (talk) 01:44, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I disagree. In fact, I disagree with every sentence. DePiep is an excellent button-maker, element-box-doodad-tinkerer, and template-alterer, and we are all here, as he wrote, to fill in his periodic table. Also, as he wrote above, students are crying, and, as Wikipedia editors, our role is to change everything we can so that students stop crying by doing what he wants done to his periodic table. Also, as Sandbh has pointed out, a critically important Pearson Education guidebook for Singaporean students who wish to pass their O-levels emphasizes Poor Metals, and a recommended textbook for Singaporean students takes the time to mention that Poor Metals are a term that's not widely used. And that means the term is used in that recommended textbook, so that's a critical supporting reference for a Neutral Point Of View. Who are we in other parts of the world to judge an entire educational system simply because it emphasizes that rarely used terms are the important ones? Just because the word "mention" has a different meaning than the word "use" where we live, that doesn't mean this is the case worldwide. This is pure Americanocentrism and Britishanocentrism and Europeanocentrism and Australianocentrism and everywhere-but-Singaporeanocentrism. Finally, Wikipedia used to categorize these metals as "metals" or "other metals," and that was the absolute wrong thing for the encyclopedia because it was the Old Way. Long standing members of this Project make certain that Wikipedia is always improving by doing things the New Way. Just look at the other edits they've done and how active they've been and the fact that there was a Wikipedia Signpost thingie about them! They work hard, and they've earned the right to make the table exactly how they want it to be without any interference from outsiders who are attempting to push their authority on them. Flying Jazz (talk) 21:19, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
No. This is not his periodic table; it is ours. It's not as easy as you might think to make a classification without overlapping. You can't use "post-transition metals", for example, because then Al is stranded without a category. Your proposed metals describes nearly all the elements on the periodic table in addition to the one you want and hence would make our colouring wrong. And other metals is ridiculously uninformative. What does it tell you about the elements involved? Nothing. That's what's wrong with it, not your "old way"/"new way" rationale (which, for the record, is not our rationale). Why not classify the periodic table into "Hydrogen" and "other elements"? Because it doesn't tell you anything about either category. I don't know what the poor metals did to you, but this is exactly what I was thinking of when I spoke of a "poor metal backlash": people opposing the categorization simply because they don't like "poor metals". Revelation time: I also don't quite like it. (That's what you wanted to hear, I expect.) That's because it doesn't quite have the IUPAC-approvedness of most of the other categories. But look at the alternatives, and I think you'll see why I'm speaking in favour of it.
As always, if you have anything better, tell us. I've already given hints on what is expected, such as perhaps meaningfulness of the category. Double sharp (talk) 01:44, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Categorization is an application of sets, subsets, and elements. Here I am using the word "element" in both its set theory and chemistry senses simultaneously. For example, let's imagine that a group of editors five years ago or so decided that a useful encyclopedia would depict the set of metals in its periodic table as subdivided into colored subsets of importance such as Alkali metals, Alkaline earth metals, Lan­thanides, Actinides, and Transition Metals. The remaining metals that did not fall into those important subsets would nevertheless be elements within the set of metals, the important set containing those subsets. The meaningfulness of the term "Other Metals" would only be to depict that elements colored that way were within the set of metals but not within the important-and-mutually-exclusive subsets of metals. Next, imagine a period of unusual stability lasting years. Then imagine a small group of amusingly pedantic editors living in a delusional fantasy-land where children are crying in class somewhere because some metals aren't special enough to fall into an important subset. Imagine other editors who pretend that the word "Other" is overly meaningless or overly meaningful and that it somehow has another definition other than the usual English definition of the word "Other." As a penultimate thing to imagine, picture an editor intentionally or unintentionally misinterpreting literature citations about Poor Metals in order to pretend that this subset of metals is sufficiently important to include in an encyclopedia's periodic table coloring and that it actually does conveniently hold exactly the same elements that were previously left outside of the subsets. Finally, imagine an editor from five years ago returning to ruthlessly mock the amusing pedants, the over/underinterpreters of "Other," and the misinterpreter of citations, and I think you'll see why I'm still laughing. Flying Jazz (talk) 04:44, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Except that "other metals" doesn't tell you anything about the metals except that they are metals. Which is not a great deal of information: that's common to all but four of our categories. And they are special enough to get a subset, despite what you might think: they are physically and chemically poor. Those are clearly defining characteristics. No one disputes the existence of a series of metals in groups 12 to 16 that are not as good metals as those in groups 1 to 10 or 11. Hence "other metals" is not meaningful. We know that they are metals; we want more info, and the elements there justify this need for info.
Categorization is an application of sets, subsets, and elements, certainly. The difference is that when we are missing a subset, we don't just use the superset, or use "other [superset]". These elements deserve a subset; they have physical and chemical commonalities. For example, let's imagine that a group of editors five years ago or so decided that a useful encyclopedia would depict the set of metals in its periodic table as subdivided into colored subsets of importance such as Alkali metals, Alkaline earth metals, Lan­thanides, Actinides, Transition Metals, and Poor Metals. And all the metals fell neatly into these good categories, and there was no need to invoke the superset when it was not required. The non-meaningfulness of the term "other metals" would be to depict that the elements coloured that way were not special enough to fall into an important subset, when they are. Imagine an editor who pretends that the word "Other" means more than it does and tells you a necessary condition to enter the group of "other metals". As a penultimate thing to imagine, imagine another editor who claims that his fellow editors intentionally or unintentionally misinterpret literature citations about poor metals only to be faced with more complete quotes that strengthen his fellow editor's correct points that this subset of metals is sufficiently important to include in a periodic table colouring and that it really does coincidentally hold exactly the same elements that were previously left outside of the subsets. Finally, imagine an editor from five years ago returning to ruthlessly mock the pedants with pedantry, mock those who actually see what "other" really means, mock those who misinterpret citations by misinterpreting them themselves, and I think you'll see why I'm so annoyed right now. Double sharp (talk) 06:06, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
The existence of a series of metals in groups 12 to 16 that are not as good metals as those in groups 1 to 10 or 11 is entirely dependent on what one means by a "good metal." As suggested by Hill and Holman's text, one can go to Electronegativity and ask which metals are poor metals. Are the poor metals with respect to electronegativity those in groups 12 to 16? A good encyclopedia would reflect chemical reality about the ambiguity of "good" and "poor" with respect to metals, the social reality of international consensus about which subsets are important, and the scientific reality that ambiguity of categorization often means that some things don't fall "neatly into these good categories." I find all three of those realities beautiful, and I live in a part of the world where ambiguity is seen as part of scientific beauty. But it actually does seem that all three of those realities seem to annoy you and several other editors in this project who may be from part of the planet where a more formalized and structured pedagogy is favored. And so my laughter has finally stopped and turned to pity. Ah, well. Nothing lasts forever. Flying Jazz (talk) 06:42, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh, really. Yes, they are with respect to electronegativity poor (or weak) metals. Yes, they are with respect to covalent tendencies poor metals. Yes, they are with respect to crystal structure poor metals. And thus with respect to amphoterism, formation of anionic species, formation of Zintl phases, melting points, boiling points, hardness, ability to have structural uses, etc. Want me to carry on? Sure, for electronegativity the metals of groups 8 to 11 are also weak. But do they really exhibit many of these other characteristics of poor metals? (Yes, I'm using it as a category here. It deserves to be one based on so many things.) There is indisputably a sharp reduction in metallic character between groups 11 and 12. Double sharp (talk) 08:26, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Flying Jazz, your earlier, 18:36 post here says: ... an element category that isn't taken seriously in any reliable or authoritative source such as the Journal of Chemical Education, any IUPAC publication, or any high school, college, or advanced chemistry textbook used in the UK or the USA. Please expand (source) on what these sources do say about the categories involved. There must be something clarifying in there. And, coming closer to the point, how are these generic sources decisive in being consistent & coherent at all? (Current hypothesis is that neither three have a comprehensive outcome in themselves, nor that they agree amongst each other). And of course, next time put you dickish remarks somewhere off-wiki. Any drive from your frustrations in RL or at WP, is not here, and it produces bad science writing. -DePiep (talk) 09:38, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Moved off-topic comment [1] to a place where it can be dealt with appropriately [2]. -DePiep (talk) 10:07, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Flying Jazz: I addressed your concerns about the Hill and Holman citations, above. I don't see any of this as a question of pedantry. I see it as a literature-based proposal to improve the information content of a Wikipedia category, beyond the 'left-overs' connotations of the 'other metals' category. There is no singular term for the well-recognised concept of this bunch of second-string metals between the transition metals and the metalloids (before modern group numbering, the closest would've been B-subgroup metals). Of the dozen or so alternatives I've been able to find in the literature, 'poor metals' appears to be the most suitable, as used, for example, by the American Chemical Society in one of their periodic tables. (Personally, I somewhat like post-transition metals better, but for the unsuitability, as you noted, of categorising aluminium as such.) Sandbh (talk) 10:38, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you make several excellent points. There are almost 200 local sections of the ACS, and the fact that one chose to include the term "Poor Metal" in the periodic table within its packet for new members provides ample evidence that the ACS supports usage of the category in spite of the mistaken tables on the ACS website and in their national literature that use the term "Main Group Metals." Editorial decisions at Wikipedia must be made with support, and so it is incumbent on the editors here to attempt to dupe each other by misrepresenting authors, societies, and reality. Like Hill and Holman and the Singaporean chemistry curriculum developers, the American Chemical Society is utterly unaware in spite of themselves that they actually do support your editorial decision. Yes, you've made me laugh again and no longer feel pity. Thank you! I do find evidence in the literature to prefer Poor Metals over Base Metals as an element category of Due Weight, just as I find evidence that Yeti is a preferred term over Abominable Snowman as a category of mammals. Keep up the excellent work! Flying Jazz (talk) 12:39, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Main group metals it is, now, eh? You do realize that that includes the alkali and alkaline earth metals, don't you? Carry on with the alternatives; I shall be much surprised if there actually is a good choice.
What misrepresentation is this? (Note: I don't ask what misrepresentation you see here.) Not only do you fail to acknowledge that Hill and Holman themselves acknowledge that "poor metals" is a useful category ("The term 'poor metals' is not widely used, but it is a useful description for several metals including tin, lead and bismuth."), but also apparently ACS just copy-pasted that from Wikipedia(!) (Sandbh, what year was it? I'll ROFL if it was during a time when we didn't use "poor metals"). Congratulations! I don't feel annoyed anymore either, just disgusted! Double sharp (talk) 13:30, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
The year was 2012. Sandbh (talk) 23:11, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
ROFL! We only started using "poor metals" again this year! Double sharp (talk) 03:27, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Before that it was used from 19 Jun 2003 to around Dec 2007. Sandbh (talk) 05:24, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Of course, some Main Group metals include alkali and alkaline earth metals and some metals are other Main Group metals. I think Wikipedia's table should serve the reader by distinguishing alkali and alkaline earth metals, as it always has, so I would never advocate for using the table used at ACS's website. My intent at pointing editors to the ACS website and literature was to return to mocking all of you. After reading our exchanges, it grows increasingly clear that DePiep owns the table here, so his decisions are ultimately carried out. Sandbh misrepresents the literature to support those decisions. And you imagine that God or nature created a world where "all the metals fell neatly into these good categories." A scientist or editor categorizing elements is just like a child whose daddy has purchased one of those toys with square pieces to fit into square holes, circular pieces to fit into circular holes, and triangular pieces to fit into triangular holes. Yes, this is an accurate view to convey to readers. That was the consensus opinion of editors at this Project, and I'm relieved that you continue to defend it. As for Hill and Holman, many terms are useful in certain situations without being widely used. Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text? I simply don't know because I live in the hillbilly backwater of Boston where Worldcat informs me that the nearest library carrying their text is hundreds of miles away, but I suspect they did not. Why not? Flying Jazz (talk) 14:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Hill and Holman use the term poor metals in the 'main table' at the back of their book. Sandbh (talk) 23:46, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I'll be purchasing Hill and Holman's 5th edition from 2000 and also their 6th edition from 2011 to see what these author's views were and how they may have changed from one edition to the next. This will take time because the texts are so difficult to obtain where I live, but I love chemistry books and I love examining how book editions in general change over time, so I'm excited at the prospect of adding two chemistry books to my collection that are recommended in curricula far away from where I live. Some serious discussions instead of mockery may result from my examination of those editions. If you'd like to answer the question, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" with something more specific than, "Yes, Hill and Holman use the term poor metals in the 'main table' at the back of their book," now is the time. Flying Jazz (talk) 09:32, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I have a copy of the PT in question. What would you like to know about it? Sandbh (talk) 10:57, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
You have given the straightforward and verifiable answer of "yes," to the question, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" I'll be verifying your answer by obtaining a copy of their 5th and 6th editions. Until I do receive copies of both texts, I have no further questions for you or for anyone else on this Project, and I won't be interacting here or elsewhere on Wikipedia in any way. Goodbye for now. Flying Jazz (talk) 17:01, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I'm quite aware that several elements do not fit neatly, e.g. Be, Al, Mn, Ge, etc. The thing is, you can reasonably classify them into one of our categories, despite arguments present for the other. That's the power of a good and meaningful categorization system; you can take an element, examine its physical and chemical properties, and find the categories where it could plausibly be assigned. After that, you weigh the evidence and see which category fits best. I'm beginning to think that maybe we should have gone with "pre-transition metals" and "post-transition metals", putting Al in the former; not because I think this is a superior classification, but just to avoid all this drama over "poor metals". Double sharp (talk) 03:27, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
The curious aspect to all of this is that the drama is only about the name of a category, as I understand it, rather than the existence of the category itself. I'd prefer to see if we can sort out the name rather than revisiting pre-transition metals. Sandbh (talk) 04:10, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, our Extremely Experienced EditorTM Flying Jazz seems to think (quite wrongly) that these poor metals don't actually fit neatly into any sort of multifaceted category and that we would be better off just using the supercategory of metals(!), so his drama is partially about the existence of the category. I note also the "other metals" seems not have been too well-liked, for it was later changed to the (wrong) "post-transition metals". Hence we have some precedent for not using that name ("other metals") in favour of something else.
The other possibilities mentioned in your sandbox seem not to be quite as good, due to their different scope. Double sharp (talk) 08:36, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I read the 2007 discussion, starting here, about the poor metals category. You (Flying Jazz) wrote, '…forcing every element into one-and-only-one "chemical series" is malarky. But any simple visual representation is going to have some malarky in it, and other alternatives are worse malarky.' This then evolved via (1) alkali metals; alkaline earth metals; Ln: An; TM; and poor metals, to (2) perhaps using other metals instead of poor metals, to (3) to making the switch, and then (4) thinking that post-transition metals would be better than either poor metals or other metals, before (5) that option was stymied by aluminium, and settling for (3).
I'm uncertain as to whether now moving the poor metal elements into the supercategory of metals would count as malarky (in a taxonomical sense) or not.
The only other option I can think of is a descriptive phrase, such as 'electronegative main group metals' or 'Main group electronegative metals' that would be on the basis that the metals involved all have ENs higher than the Group 1 and 2 metals. Or 'borderline' main group metals, since they all occupy frontier territory on the periodic table; or 'weak' main group metals, since they were all short-changed physically and chemically when the metallic genes were being handed out. I also entertained 'group 12-16 metals,' until I tripped over copernicium. Sandbh (talk) 10:48, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Not only Cn, but also the fact that you can immediately see that they are group 12 to 16 metals from the PT and therefore it's not too informative as a category name! Double sharp (talk) 02:35, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Could we refer to them using the intentionally descriptive phrase 'weak main group metals'? I believe this would fit into the category box without the need for an abbreviation (✔). I don't think there would be much controversy in referring to group 12 as main group metals given e.g. Cotton & Wilkinson; they could still be included in the article on transition metals, for comparative purposes. The weak, of course, refers to the physical and chemical weaknesses (as metals) of all of the metals in question, e.g. low melting point, hardness and structural strength and e.g. as per Rayner-Canham's concept of chemically weak metals, above average EN, and covalent bonding tendencies etc. @YBG: tx for your post about 'PTM and including Al without mentioning it,' which was the trigger for revisiting this suggestion.Sandbh (talk) 03:45, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Have updated my sandbox (but for the pix) to see what this looks like. Sandbh (talk) 05:20, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I like this one a lot! Reasonably descriptive and singular. And above all, won't get the hatred "poor metal" seems to receive all the time. Double sharp (talk) 08:43, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
The changes in User:Sandbh/sandbox look great to me (the Related groupings section!). I'll wait how it settles (like snowflakes on a white christmas), read it, and then churn out variant's templates by the dozen or so. For earlier sandboxes & demos, just ask. n.b. I maintain an overall todo-list in a backoffice, at User:DePiep/PT 2013. -DePiep (talk) 11:58, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
My 2 cents. Actually, I wouldn't consider this a very good name. It is very generic. I couldn't imagine anyone actually using it as easily as "transition metals" (say). There are not so many options available, but this, while being techically acceptable, sounds like "We couldn't come up with something better than this." (I like my version better just because it, while also being technically acceptable, sounds like real language. No language expert, though.)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 23:16, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Invitation to User Study

Would you be interested in participating in a user study? We are a team at University of Washington studying methods for finding collaborators within a Wikipedia community. We are looking for volunteers to evaluate a new visualization tool. All you need to do is to prepare for your laptop/desktop, web camera, and speaker for video communication with Google Hangout. We will provide you with a Amazon gift card in appreciation of your time and participation. For more information about this study, please visit our wiki page ( If you would like to participate in our user study, please send me a message at Wkmaster (talk) 16:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC).

New evidence supporting hydrogen's position in Group 1

Here: 'Unprecedented participation of a four-coordinate hydrogen atom in the cubane core of lithium and sodium phenolates' Note mention in the article of similarities between Li and H. The Royal Society of Chemistry, in the Dec 2013 edition of Chemistry World, says that this work, 'confirms hydrogen's position at the top of group 1 and seems likely to stimulate further debate and discussion.' (p. 5) I think 'confirms' is a stretch given the authors of the article make no such claim; even so I agree their work does add weight to the position of H at the top of Group 1. Sandbh (talk)

Wow. There was such a huge groundswell of editors here opposing the idea that Wikipedia continue to place hydrogen in Group 1. You showed them. Take that, you non-group-one-for-hydrogen editors! Now then, how about some evidence supporting the position of dogs as mammals? The teeming hordes of editors here who believe dogs are reptiles need to be taught a lesson. Flying Jazz (talk) 02:39, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
The question of hydrogen's position in the periodic table has an ongoing history dating to Mendeleev's time. It still surfaces from time to time in the recent literature. For example: Kaesz & Atkins 2003; Scerri 2003; Cronyn 2004; Emsley 2011; and Cousins, Davidson & García-Vivó 2013, as per the above RSC reference (which also says, in part, 'The position of hydrogen as the first element of Group 1 is a question which is still open to debate.') It was also recently discussed in this forum, which prompted notification of the above reference. Sandbh (talk) 12:13, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Cousin DM, Davidson MG & García-Vivó D 2013, 'Unprecedented participation of a four-coordinate hydrogen atom in the cubane core of lithium and sodium phenolates', Chemical Communications, vol. 49, p. 11809—11811
  • Cronyn MW 2004, 'The proper place for hydrogen in the periodic table', Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 80, no. 8, pp. 947‒951.
  • Emsley J 2011, Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z guide to the elements, Oxford University Press, Oxford, p. 651
  • Kaesz H & Atkins P 2003, 'A central position for hydrogen in the periodic table,' Chemistry International, vol. 25, no. 6
  • Scerri E 2003, The placement of hydrogen in the periodic table, Chemistry International, vol. 26, no. 3
Is it a question that editors are discussing or ever have discussed at Wikipedia in the context of implementing changes to the periodic table here? Are you here to help build an encyclopedia? What is the purpose of this discussion that you began? What was the purpose of the discussion at the "Base Metals or Poor Metals?" section? Flying Jazz (talk) 13:29, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Flying Jazz, cut out the personal attacks and the bad faith presumptions. -DePiep (talk) 14:03, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I have been repeatedly guilty of mockery in the recent past. But at the moment, I am asking straightforward questions, and I'd like to receive answers. I'd like to understand how this editor thinks the encyclopedia will benefit from consideration of this topic. I genuinely want to understand what Sandbh is trying to accomplish in this section and why it's here. If you see these questions as a personal attack and a presumption of bad faith then that is merely a reflection of poor sight on your part. Flying Jazz (talk) 15:08, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Answers to your questions:

1. Is it a question that editors are discussing or ever have discussed at Wikipedia in the context of implementing changes to the periodic table here?

Yes, it was, as per the link in my first response.

2. Are you here to help build an encyclopedia?

I like to think so.

3. What is the purpose of this discussion that you began?

To highlight new research supporting the location of H in group 1.

4. What was the purpose of the discussion at the "Base Metals or Poor Metals?" section?

To gauge opinions as to whether the term base metals would be a better than the term poor metals in referring to the metals between the transition metals and the metalloids. Sandbh (talk) 23:59, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

May i, as an outsider who is always fascinated by the discussions that occur on this talk page but never particupate, suggest that Position of Hydrogen on the periodic table be created as an article? It seems to be a very contentious issue, so rather than having one definite solution (such as Hydrogen in Group 1), you can keep everyone happy by providing a link to said article which will explain all the different views.--Coin945 (talk) 03:43, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I've got some analysis as well

User:R8R Gtrs/Periodic table issues.--R8R (talk) 17:23, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

You make an extremely good point. I'm on the verge of disappearing from this entire series of discussions and actually get my superheavies to FA. Double sharp (talk) 10:49, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry I don't have time enough to respond carefully. My first impression is that Sandbh is careful not to push a conclusion in the three voted topics; I like that. -DePiep (talk) 18:39, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Element infobox

Current state

Please vote on the proposal to use a different periodic table in the infobox for chemical elements. The basis of this proposal is as follows.

  • The 18-column form is the most common form in text-books and wall charts. It is the form with which all readers will be most familiar.
  • Readable element symbols in their respective boxes, with actual element highlighted.
  • Element positions based on electronic structure.
  • No atomic number or atomic mass; the values of these items are listed lower down in the infobox.
  • No colour coding of element boxes.
  • No before and after side-bars; made redundant by having element names in the boxes.
  • No links to other elements; in this context the purpose of showing the PT is to show the position of an element (Fe) in the PT, by row and column.
  • No chemical information; all such, including group designation etc., are given below in the infobox.
  • The current 32-column form is controversial (no consensus - see above).

Please keep comments short and to the main point which is to choose between an 18-column and a 32-column periodic table in the infobox shown with the elements. Petergans (talk) 12:27, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Neutral. OK with either way, as long as the chosen version of the 18-column layout is consistent across WP. (Sc/Y/La/Ac vs. Sc/Y/*/** vs. Sc/Y/Lu/Lr.) Double sharp (talk) 12:42, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
(But read R8R's points: I agree with them. And also, going by electron structure means that Lu ends up below Y...) Double sharp (talk) 05:36, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Mild oppose. The 32-column version has been in use and viewed by tens of millions since at least 2005, without significant controversy. The 32-column form is the 'pure' form. It shows things as they actually are, and does not suffer from relegating the lanthanides and actinides to footnote status. The mental leap required to interpret the 32-column version from the perspective of someone used to the 18-column form is trivial, and good for the brain. The effort involved is easily outweighed by the insight gained from appreciating the actual location of the lanthanides and actinides. However, won't lose any sleep on this one, either way. Oppose Keep individual element links—very handy to be able to click-through to adjacent elements. Oppose element positions based solely on electron configuration, in disregard of other periodic property trends. Follow on comment: Sc-Y-Lu-Lr also enables Sc-Y-Lu-Lr-La-Ac, an arrangement which is most appropriate for these bookend elements, one which can't be achieved with Sc-Y-La-Ac or Sc-Y-Ln-An. Sandbh (talk) 00:32, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Support, this would eliminate a lot of confusion. --Jakob (talk) 00:51, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
What kind of confusion do you mean?--R8R (talk) 01:45, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
It introduces confusion: what is group 3? That will be shown ambiguous (3-way). -DePiep (talk) 09:08, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
We can do your gap thing (which is a good idea indeed) and there will be no confusion :) --R8R (talk) 12:06, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
That is not what proposer Petergans nor King jakob state. -DePiep (talk) 13:28, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Oppose to most points, but the first two are fine. The first two points are reasonable and may be implemented (I definitely support 18 columns; not sure about symbols, we have to see if it works, but inclined to say "yes" here as well). The ones that suggest other changes aren't and should be forgotten asap. One by one:
  • Element positions based on electronic structure. Already done/being discussed separately.
  • No colour coding of element boxes. We should keep coloring. This is a very useful feature. For one, I have never seen a book/table with cells not being colored unless there were physical limitations (e.g. book printed with no colors other than black). It helps distinguish groups of alike elements (navigation).
  • No before and after side-bars; made redundant by having element names in the boxes. Nope. First, there are no names even in the proposed version, only symbols. Second, bars are useful for navigation (cells are small, I can miss and click a neighboring one) and don't disturb a reader. Third, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • No links to other elements; in this context the purpose of showing the PT is to show the position of an element (Fe) in the PT, by row and column. Again, not disturbing, useful feature cut for nothing. IIABDFI, seriously.
Aside from my arguments above, I find the proposal aesthetically unpleasant.--R8R (talk) 01:45, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Issues opened here overlap the earlier discussion in #Vote: Group 3 metals; group 12 as poor metals, still open. The re can not be a discussion fork. Any outcome(s) from the earlier discussiojn will be iposed on this outcome. In other words? it is advised to discuss these issiuues in the earlier thread. -DePiep (talk) 05:24, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Support. Surely this is simply a navigation tool to help folk move from one element to another. Some colors would make it look better, perhaps s, p, d block colors. I do NOT see why the discussions held elsewhere on classification should make any impact on this decision regarding a navigation box.Axiosaurus (talk) 13:24, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
You mean support all wholesale? -DePiep (talk) 13:28, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
The discussion ("Vote") I linked to is about what is group 3. Petergans (we discussed extensively about this on his talkpage) proposes here to keep the group 3 (3-way) confusion, and on his talkpage proposed to structure the PT with group3 being Sc/Y/La/Ac. No way that group 3 discussion will be run again/simultaneously here. -DePiep (talk) 13:35, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with the statement made earlier that decision made re group 3 and presumably lanthanides etc etc. will be imposed on this decision. I think that is not only unreasonable but undermines this voting process- its playing politics! The group 3 sideshow and all the other ideas on renaming lanthanides, post transition elements etc etc are all very interesting (you can probably sense that I find such discussions only mildly so) but this proposal is about the navigation aid. Axiosaurus (talk) 14:47, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
No. It's just because that is the central discussion. I point to the "overlap of topic(s)" precision I noted (not all of this thread is covered in the older discussion. That may complicate matters, but that's how it is). Also, this is not a "voting" process, this is a discussion. Arguments count, not votes. -DePiep (talk) 13:44, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm. Well thats an interesting opinion. Axiosaurus (talk) 17:03, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Maybe. More relevantly, single point discussion is common practice. Writing "vote" and then lean back is not. -DePiep (talk) 15:18, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Disagree on main question. No 18-column PT, keep it 32-column. The proposal itself shows the ever recurring problem with the 18-column PT: ambiguous, wrong or varying group 3 structure. That is an issue in all these wallpapers and books. The 18-column is not a single variant. On top of these 18-col variants, the proposer even writes The current 32-column form is controversial (no consensus - see above). I do not see that no consensus (reads more like an easy yell here). And of course: there is nothing controversial about 32 columns. That is of course because the periodic table is a 32-col table.
Another evergreen issue with the 18-column is that it is a graphic and mental deformation of the basic 32-col table. Putting some blocks into the basement introduces the mental step required to reposition that block in its place. Making it into an IKEA manual. That is an extra complication added to get the PT.
On the minor (?) points later. -DePiep (talk) 13:49, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I oppose also unlinked elements. Clickable elements is the "navigation" in "navigation".
Don't see why we should leave out the unnnamed elements (like 113).
Adding group and period numbers, clickable, would be an improvement. In the micro form they could be dots. -DePiep (talk) 13:00, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I have no objection to colour-coding in principle. If colour coding is used, however, there must be a legend to explain it. There is no legend in the current infobox. Petergans (talk) 09:59, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Well, we can add the legend then. I think this is a better idea than leaving it uncoloured. Double sharp (talk) 12:11, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
      • The case for a oolour category legend is not strong. A legend is not necessarily required. The mini-table is more of an thematic representation than a full-blown map. Like, for example, the colours of the olympic rings on the olympic flag: no accompanying legend. The actual colour category of the element in question is given only a little further down in the information box. Sandbh (talk) 00:32, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Or we could only add the legend (color + linked meaning) of only the element marked. With or without legend, the color shows the whole category for the element (e.g., all transition metals with Fe). This is the same sort of information as are the group and period (namely: a set of elements). -DePiep (talk) 12:53, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
What is the proposal saying about group 3? As you know, that discussion is open.
What are you completing arguments & thoughts for the points you mention?
How is the 32-column PT "controversial (see above)", and then again not the 18-column PT?
Why are we supposed to "keep comments short" in your 9-point changes?
Why do you declare the main point to be "18-column vs. 32-column" out of the nine?
Why do you make it a 'vote' and not a discussion? What does that mean for the process and the outcome? For now I can state clearly that this thread will not and can not be decided by vote-count. -DePiep (talk) 14:03, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
If there is a consensus in favour of an 18-column table, will we be be able to call on your expertise with graphics to implement a form of it that is acceptable to most of us? Petergans (talk) 10:24, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
How does this answer any of my questions? btw, this topic was recently discussed here. -DePiep (talk) 15:07, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Clarification The proposal makes no reference to periodic group. This is intentional, given the controversy over group 3. The numbers refer just to rows and columns. I will summarize at the end of this week, to give time for occasional users to contribute. Petergans (talk) 11:54, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
You really, really mean to say that the number "3" does not mean to say "group 3"? Unacceptable. Won't spend much time more on this issue (eh, "periodic group"?). -DePiep (talk) 17:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)"
Petergans, this about the group 3 topic. As you propose it (deliberatley I read here), column "3" is ambiguous to "cover" the various group 3 options. Currently there are two serious options in view, both scientifically based (of course). Now this is why I reject any such a proposal: the 18-column PT must show what is that group 3. Simply because anyone must be able to (re-)construct the 32-column PT from that one. An ambiguous group 3 prevents creating such a straight 32-column PT, leaving the reader with confusion. In other words: the 18-column PT must be a representation of a 32-column PT. So there must be a decision about that group 3, to show it in the 32-columns. As always, alternatives can be described in appropriate places (e.g., in page group 3 element).
To be clear, the "controversy" about group 3 is part of the scientific topic, not a wikipedia thing.
As a backgrond, I can point to hydrogen, which has more possible positions. Still we position it top-left generally, and can describe other places in pages like hydrogen. -DePiep (talk) 17:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
With regards to how Group 3 is represented in the layout of the periodic table, the main table used at the IUPAC website has been unchanged for many years. Wikipedia's layout (with respect to how group 3 is represented) changed to match the IUPAC layout in 2005, and it's been pretty stable since then. Because neither the Wikipedia main table layout nor the IUPAC layout has changed in about eight years, it's highly controversial among editors in projects who compulsively argue about things unrelated to encyclopedia-building. The goal, of course, is to wait until IUPAC does change their layout, which might or might not happen, and then we can all get that delightful sense of having known it would or wouldn't happen all along because we argued about it so much. That's also the primary reason why retaining the 32-column table in the infobox is such a great idea. If IUPAC doesn't select a specific definition of group 3 then we knew it all along because our table showed an ambiguous group 3. And if IUPAC does select a specific definition of group 3 then we knew it all along because our 32-column infobox had it right all along. The reader is best served when Wikipedia editors feel smart. Flying Jazz (talk) 16:44, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Oppose Too many ambiguous suggestions in one proposal. Editors at this project have a consistent history over the past year or two of implementing atrociously poor editorial choices in combination with other choices that are either sound or irrelevant. Neither the 32-column table nor the 18-column table, if implemented correctly, would be particularly controversial in either the "main" table or in the infobox. But "element positions based on electronic structure" could mean any damned thing. There used to be an editorial community at Template_talk:Periodic_table where one thing was discussed at a time in a rational way. Here's how it was done: one type of change was discussed in one-discussion-at-a-time among a large number of editors. Editors contributed because talking about one thing at a time can be FUN. Now in these nutty project pages, we have proposal 10c(iii) and bulleted lists of 10 things to talk about at once, and (surprise!) only a tiny number of editors talk about it because it's NOT FUN. And then there is this group of petty Project Leader types who seem to live in a fantasy world where they're the ones who declare "This discussion is open" and "That discussion is closed" and "That outcome over there will prevail." Damn, these project pages are full of nimroddery. What's wrong with you people? One of these weeks, I'll head over to the template talk and invite editors instead of petty project managers to an actual discussion, and we may actually get something useful accomplished. Flying Jazz (talk) 02:31, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


On the main question, for/against 18-colum periodic table

Support King Jacob, Axiosaurus, R&R

Neutral Double Sharp

Mild oppose Sandbh

Oppose Flying Jazz

Disagree de Piep

The only serious opposition is from de Piep.

  • Flying Jazz states “Neither the 32-column table nor the 18-column table, if implemented correctly, would be particularly controversial”
  • Sandbh is concerned about group classification (more on that below)

Other notable comments

  • Axiosaurus: “I disagree with the statement made earlier that decision made re group 3 and presumably lanthanides etc etc. will be imposed on this decision. I think that is not only unreasonable but undermines this voting process- its playing politics!”
  • Flying Jazz: “Editors at this project have a consistent history over the past year or two of implementing atrociously poor editorial choices”
    “And then there is this group of petty Project Leader types who seem to live in a fantasy world where they're the ones who declare "This discussion is open" and "That discussion is closed" and "That outcome over there will prevail."”

My conclusion is that there is a substantial majority in favour of the 18-column table, that some colour coding is desirable and that element links should be retained. Unfortunately, because of the specific coding language that has been used in creating the templates, de Piep is the only editor amongst us who is capable of implementing any changes. He has indicated quite clearly that he is unwilling to cooperate. Therefore we have reached an impasse.

I must add one comment regarding the controversy regarding groups, which has somewhat clouded this debate. For Y, a case can be made for putting it in the same group as Lu, for a good chemical reason, namely, as a consequence of the Lanthanide contraction: Y and Lu have similar chemical properties, just like their “next-door neighbours” Zr and Hf..

Chemical classification is derived from Mendeleev’s proposal, modified to change his group A/B classification by showing the transition elements in separate columns. Lanthanides came later. The actinide series was only recognized ( by Glenn Seaborg) with the synthesis of the trans-uranium elements. Prior to that, Th was placed below Hf, and U was placed below W.

There is chemical merit in these classifications, but the present table is a better overall compromise. Petergans (talk) 12:20, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Wow. From such a tiny number of opinions from a handful of editors about ten different bullet points under the ambiguous heading "Element Infobox," I conclude nothing about the editorial opinion of any majority of note at Wikipedia. Was the main question about the 18 column vs 32 column table? What exact proposal did I oppose again? Which changes exactly is de Piep not implementing? Is de Piep really the only editor at Wikipedia who is capable of implementing changes to the periodic tables on the entire site? How'd that happen? Or is he the only editor who took the time and made the effort required to implement changes to a huge number of items that already existed here? Isn't that a good thing? On the other hand, there are specific conclusions that can be reached and hypotheses that can be formed about petty project leader types. There seems to be some sort of fun little turf war going on between Project Chemistry and Project Elements. Do you think it makes sense to end it by assuming the role of "conclusion-maker and refactorer" at this Project, disbanding this Project and having it be swallowed up into Project Chemistry, or doing something else? Flying Jazz (talk) 13:20, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
re Petergans: your "conclusion" is based on vote counting only. You yourself did not even respond to questions or engage in any argumentation. No consequences. -DePiep (talk) 13:41, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

@Petergans: I've talked at length about the position of Sc and Y many times, and have contradicted myself about as many times. :-P It's reached the point where I'm fine with it being either way. The only thing I care about for this is that it be applied consistently. I am slightly swayed by Ac's similarity to Sc, Y, and the lanthanides to use Sc/Y/La/Ac. But then we don't know enough about Lr, so it is weak. Maybe it makes more physical sense to use Sc/Y/Lu/Lr; but chemically the Sc/Y/La/Ac similarities seem stronger (all only +3 oxidation state...I'm not using this as an argument to take them out of the transition metals, as that kinda kicks group 4 out too). Double sharp (talk) 16:11, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Blaaaargh. Both Sc/Y/La/Ac and Sc/Y/Lu/Lr are good compromises. I'm going to jump in onto Sc/Y/Lu/Lr, with La and Ac positioned directly under group 3, per Sandbh. Double sharp (talk) 12:37, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

It appears that the majority view of interested parties is not acceptable. I have nothing further to say on this topic. Petergans (talk) 12:02, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't think a useful majority for altering Wikipedia can be present in a forum dominated repeatedly by such a tiny number of editors, and a single view can't be discussed about ten starred items, so I, for one, have no idea even about the topic you don't want to discuss! But in a little while, I'll probably try to start a more focused discussion outside of the WikiProjects space and the User Talk space, and I hope you say everything you want to say about any topic at that time. That's the way that such discussions usually occurred until recent years when groups of people seem to have misunderstood, misinterpreted, or forgotten the first few paragraphs at Wikipedia:WikiProject (with amusing and irritating results). If you don't want to talk about something specific at that future time, then I hope you also explain why. Flying Jazz (talk) 13:03, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I do not see why you can not or do not start a single-topic on, say, this WikiProject page. This reads like you wanna control more than a discussion asks for. Also, inside or outside of wikiproject space: it would also help if you yourself kept on topic. -DePiep (talk) 14:28, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I explain this in the sentences beginning with "My intent is..." here. Flying Jazz (talk) 18:12, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the situation here

User:Double sharp/Periodic table issues. I'm going to try to stay as neutral as possible in this attempted summary.

(And also, I'm deliberately going to phrase the group 12 question as "should we take group 12 out of the transition metals category" instead of Sandbh's version above, because the name of the category for the metals in the p-block is itself an issue.) Double sharp (talk) 13:17, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Poor Metals is not in a Periodic Table in the endpapers of Hill and Holman's text

Relevant prior discussion:

As for Hill and Holman, many terms are useful in certain situations without being widely used. Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text? I simply don't know because I live in the hillbilly backwater of Boston where Worldcat informs me that the nearest library carrying their text is hundreds of miles away, but I suspect they did not. Why not? Flying Jazz (talk) 14:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Hill and Holman use the term poor metals in the 'main table' at the back of their book. Sandbh (talk) 23:46, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I'll be purchasing Hill and Holman's 5th edition from 2000 and also their 6th edition from 2011 to see what these author's views were and how they may have changed from one edition to the next. This will take time because the texts are so difficult to obtain where I live, but I love chemistry books and I love examining how book editions in general change over time, so I'm excited at the prospect of adding two chemistry books to my collection that are recommended in curricula far away from where I live. Some serious discussions instead of mockery may result from my examination of those editions. If you'd like to answer the question, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" with something more specific than, "Yes, Hill and Holman use the term poor metals in the 'main table' at the back of their book," now is the time. Flying Jazz (talk) 09:32, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I have a copy of the PT in question. What would you like to know about it? Sandbh (talk) 10:57, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
You have given the straightforward and verifiable answer of "yes," to the question, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" I'll be verifying your answer by obtaining a copy of their 5th and 6th editions. Until I do receive copies of both texts, I have no further questions for you or for anyone else on this Project, and I won't be interacting here or elsewhere on Wikipedia in any way. Goodbye for now. Flying Jazz (talk) 17:01, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I just noticed you appear to have misinterpreted what I said. I did not say "yes" to your question, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" Rather my response to your question was, "Yes, Hill and Holman use the term poor metals in the 'main table' at the back of their book." Sandbh (talk) 02:56, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Of course I did. I asked the same question twice and created a link to endpapers just to be certain that I would misinterpret your answer twice. I've been a naughty, naughty editor, but you showed me. Congratulations. Flying Jazz (talk) 13:27, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

After nearly six weeks, both editions have arrived at my home from the UK, and neither edition has a periodic table in the endpapers (although it is mentioned in the text). The fact that "Poor Metals" is not used as an element category in the endpapers of any textbook used in any educational program anywhere in the world is precisely why Wikipedia must use it. We must show that our editors are smarter than any textbook editors. This is because the purpose of Wikipedia has changed from serving the reader by modestly repeating the literature to serving the reader by proving to them that we at Wikipedia are smarter and better than the literature. That's why the fact that Theodore Gray uses the category "Other Metals" at his website is actually a reason why Wikipedia should not use it because it allows us to demonstrate our intellectual superiority to Gray. When Gray writes, "There should be a better name for Other Metals" on his website at , it is actually a plea for help from us smarter people. Gray is telling Wikipedia editors what we should do, and now that we've done it, we can all write fan mail to him saying that we have done what he said we should do. Maybe he'll give us free T-shirts out of gratitude, and in his next book, he'll use the term "Poor Metals," acknowledge Wikipedia, and write about just how smart we are. That's the best way to serve the reader. It goes without saying that we must try to show each other that we're the smartest editor here by telling brazen boldfaced lies to each other in order to misrepresent the educational literature. Flying Jazz (talk) 01:42, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Is your copy of Hill and Holman (2000) missing page 536? In the copy that I can access, they show their main periodic table, with poor metals, at page 39 and again, at the back of their book, at page 536.
Gray doesn't have a consistent nomenclature record (not that he necessarily needs to). In Gray (2009, p. 9) he calls them ordinary metals. I do agree with him, however, that there ought to be a better name. The generally feeling (noting your strong objections) has been that of the many alternatives in the literature, 'poor metals' is the least worst. Failing that, WP:NEO advises that it is preferable to use a descriptive phrase. Sandbh (talk) 03:40, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Gray T 2009, The elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe, Black Dog & Leventhal, New York
When I asked about endpapers, you could have replied with, "I don't have a copy of the text, so I don't know about the endpapers." Another possibility would be, "Hill and Holman don't have a periodic table in their endpapers, but I believe their main periodic table is on page 536." Another answer from you might be something like, "I understand that the endpapers of a text can help to resolve Undue Weight issues regarding editorial decisions about the periodic table at Wikipedia." Perhaps that final answer may be too much to expect, but any of those sentences would reflect an attempt to actually communicate with another human being in a collaborative environment. In a similar vein, if I were actually proposing an article in Wikipedia with the title "Other Metals" or "Ordinary Metals" then your comment about neologisms would be apt. However, as usual, you simply did not read what I wrote. I rarely cite policy, but your behavior regarding the endpapers of Holt and Holman is a perfect example of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. By answering "Yes" to the simple question, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" instead of all the other alternatives available to you, you have at best, simply demonstrated a failure or refusal to get the point. Let's just try it one more time to see if you understand what's up. I now own the two most recent editions of Hill and Holman from both 2000 and from 2011. My eyes tell me that there is no periodic table in the endpapers of either text. So, when I ask you again, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" will you say, "Yes," like you said before, will you say "No" like I am seeing, will you say, "I don't know" because the end papers are not available to you or will you reply to a question about textbook endpapers by discussing textbook contents between the endpapers? Flying Jazz (talk) 05:06, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
If endpapers means the supplementary pages at the front or back of a book, before or after the main body chapters, then yes, Hill or Holman (2000) use the term poor metals in their main table printed on page 536. This page can be found in the (back) end papers following their main body chapters. Sandbh (talk) 08:23, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
It's an excellent idea for people talking about the contents of books to preface their sentences with "If endpapers means..." instead of attempting to learn what endpapers actually are. I wish an internet encyclopedia existed where you could examine what endpapers mean. That way you would be able to communicate with other people about easily verified factual information instead of blithely remaining an obvious sufferer of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT by either intentionally or unintentionally not understanding words in common usage. If we make up a new word like "bungorgle" to describe book content, similar to an Appendix, that falls in between the final chapter of a text and the index, then, yes, Hill and Holman's fifth edition from 2000 did place a periodic table with Poor Metals as an element category in their bungorgle. However, Hill and Holman's sixth edition from 2011 did not place such a periodic table in their bungorgle. Some editorial decision may have changed their mind. Now you know. Flying Jazz (talk) 13:49, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I couldn't find a consistent definition of endpapers, not that I looked very far. The OED for example says endpapers are the blank leaves at the start and end of a book. Other sites I looked at briefly mentioned endpapers being used for maps, tables, illustrations etc. Hence my preface. Sandbh (talk) 02:56, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Understood. In a discussion about the weight/importance of various periodic tables, the fact that the majority of commonly-used textbooks have periodic tables in their endpapers will only lead to a debate with you about what endpapers mean. In the future, instead of doing something direct like citing the Wikipedia article endpaper, I'll know that I must consult multiple definitions, analyze their consistency, report on that consistency, and consider the possibility that a chemistry textbook may have a map of Hong Kong or an illustration of the recognized breeds of dogs in its endpapers in order to attempt to have a conversation with you about a reference. Got it. Flying Jazz (talk) 13:23, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Flying Jazz, what is your response to the Sandbh 03:40 post? It looks like that would solve the content issue. If you want to quarrel about phrasing, go ahead, but don't expect any useful outcome. -DePiep (talk) 13:35, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
DePiep: In this project, editors are obviously not on equal footing, consensus and "general feelings" are misinterpreted, tendentious posts frequently occur, unfocused discussions predominate, and above it all is your incessant rush to use a tiny handful of the same editors over and over to try to establish a consensus for the entire encyclopedia. My intent in creating a section with the title "Poor Metals is not in a Periodic Table in the endpapers of Hill and Holman's text" was not to immediately solve a particular content issue regarding the use of Poor Metals in the encyclopedia. I understand from your post ("It looks like that would solve the content issue.") that you seem to have the view that a single response to a single post may somehow "solve" a content issue that has been bouncing back and forth on Wikipedia for over ten years in hundreds of posts among dozens of editors on about a half-dozen talk pages. I'm attempting to discuss very particular references involving content-related issues. I'm taking a longer view of what will happen days, weeks or months from now when an actual, focused, discussion about multiple topics may take place in a more appropriate and deserving forum than this one. My response to Sandbh's post about the issue itself will take place at that time. At the moment, I'm simply trying to understand how to communicate with him about verifiable, factual information in books that I can now see with my own eyes. Flying Jazz (talk) 14:43, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Another personal attack. Unhelpful attitude. Not aimed at communication or improving wiki. Buzzy scoring personal points. Self-disservice by letting bad faith get into the writing. -DePiep (talk) 17:13, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
You're interpreting my posts as personal attacks for reasons that are unknown to me and that don't interest me, but one possibility is interesting. You may be confused about the English word "personal" just as Sandbh was confused about the word "endpapers." An example of a personal attack is your statement to me of Dec 7: "next time put you [sic] dickish remarks somewhere off-wiki. Any drive from your frustrations in RL or at WP, is not here [?]..." Note the mention of "dickish" and of me being frustrated in real life. But I'm not complaining because I simply don't mind personal attacks. In fact, when they're entertaining, I tend to enjoy them even when they're directed at me. Not every editor who wants to work on the table at Wikipedia wants to be part of a project like this one. With respect to the Periodic Table, Project Elements seems to me to have lost its service orientation, and I think the layout and categorization of the Periodic Table at Wikipedia have suffered as a result. Don't take that personally. It's not about you as a person. Flying Jazz (talk) 18:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Wow. Why don't you quote what that was a response to? -DePiep (talk) 14:22, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd be glad to quote exactly what I think you were responding to when you called me dickish and said I'm frustrated in real life although it would just be a guess on my part because I honestly can only imagine what does and doesn't upset you. We were posting in a ridiculous thread called "Base metals or poor metals?," a question which, like many other questions posed by Sandbh here, has little to do with improving the encyclopedia. I was appropriately (at least in my view) mocking the topic and the question when another editor chimed in with a suggestion about periodic table colors. You replied with:
"These don't fill my periodic table,"
and yet another editor responded by writing:
"We are not necessarily here to fill DePiep's periodic table."
I found the entire situation to be so delightfully entertaining that I replied with this, a post that I'm proud of and that still makes me laugh and will for months to come. I called you:
"an excellent button-maker, element-box-doodad-tinkerer, and template-alterer,"
statements which were meant in earnest in the sense that I'm glad for the effort you put into those tasks. But they were used by me in the context of me throwing your words back at you by continuing,
"...and we are all here, as he wrote, to fill in his periodic table."
My implication, of course, is that as a result of your button-making and template-doodad-altering, you've ended up writing things like "my periodic table" to describe Wikipedia's periodic table in violation of some policy or other that's too boring to cite about taking ownership of Wikipedia articles/templates/buttons/doodads/periodic tables. But you might not have claimed ownership because of the hard work you've done. Maybe you just wrote that it's your periodic table because you like claiming things to be yours. Did you play Risk as a kid? The remainder of the post didn't have to do with you individually, but I'd like to thank Sandbh for inspiring me to use the lengthy term
In the history of the English language, I believe nobody has ever used that complete term before, and I'm proud of the novelty. At the end of the post, I wrote about you, Sandbh, and other long-standing members of this project:
"They work hard, and they've earned the right to make the table exactly how they want it to be without any interference from outsiders who are attempting to push their authority on them,"
thus placing both you and Sandbh into the category of the owners of the main Periodic Table of Wikipedia, protecting it from the mobs of editors who wish to tear it to shreds by using neither the term Base Metals nor the term Poor Metals as element categories. Anyway, I think now I've quoted exactly what you were responding to when you resorted to personal attacks (which, again, I didn't mind). I enjoy quoting myself. Thanks for asking! Why you took it personally is a question that only you can answer. Flying Jazz (talk) 01:42, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
As I said: all bad faith, no intent to improve the encyclopedia. -DePiep (talk) 11:50, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
You asked me to quote what you were responding to. I did as you asked. A different editor than you might now say, "Thank you for writing what I asked you to write!" and I would reply, "You're welcome!" I certainly do appreciate you not repeating the accusation that I'm engaging in personal attacks. That is a distinct improvement. There may be hope. My intent is to improve the encyclopedia by taking discussions about the Periodic Table layout and coloring out of this forum and onto a non-project page. My hope is that editors will be more likely to be on equal footing at that time. My hope is that Sandbh and you will behave in a different manner in a different forum. My hope is that Sandbh will be more likely to actually read what's being asked in a question like, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" instead of replying by writing, "I have a copy of the PT in question. What would you like to know about it?" My hope is that you won't use the phrase "my periodic table" to describe Wikipedia's table when you're posting somewhere else outside of this project, and that you will allow conversations to evolve instead of typing intrusive things like "what is your response to the Sandbh 03:40 post?." Rest assured that I'll let you know when that conversation begins. And rest assured that I'm not interested in taking control of the conversation after it begins. I simply think it will be a better conversation if it doesn't happen here. Wikipedia is not this project. So I'm finished here. In a few weeks, you and other editors here will be pinged when that discussion begins. Flying Jazz (talk) 18:05, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
For the record, my first reply to Flying Jazz's question "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" was "Yes, Hill and Holman use the term poor metals in the 'main table' at the back of their book." The subsequent statement and question by me that Flying Jazz has quoted above i.e. "I have a copy of the PT in question. What would you like to know about it?" was provided by me in response to Flying Jazz's follow-on invitation, which was: "If you'd like to answer the question, "Did Hill and Holman use the term Poor Metals in their "main table" at the endpapers of their text?" with something more specific than, "Yes, Hill and Holman use the term poor metals in the 'main table' at the back of their book," now is the time." Sandbh (talk) 00:24, 27 January 2014 (UTC)


A bottle helium and a plastic bag seems to be a advertised method in some books and this "advertisement" leads to increases cases of suicides by this method. The featured article helium needs a little bit of help to get to the standard for references. I put some references for the increased number of cases on the talk page. I want to have some help from this project to improve the Hazards section of the article. I also asked the death project and the medicine project because they might be more involved in the Hazards and asphyxia .Thanks.--Stone (talk) 20:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Carbon, phosphorus and selenium are rather weak metalloids than just nonmetals

Here is next example of very popular wrong classification:

Habashi[1] groups the elements into eight major categories: [1] typical metals (alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, and aluminium); [2] lanthanides (Ce–Lu); [3] actinides (Th–Lr); [4] transition metals (Sc, Y, La, Ac, groups 4–10); [5] less typical metals (groups 11–12, Ga, In, Tl, Sn and Pb); [6] metalloids (B, Si, Ge, As, Se, Sb, Te, Bi and Po); [7] covalent nonmetals (H, C, N, O, P, S and the halogens); and [8] monatomic nonmetals (i. e. the noble gases).

Commom error: Selenium as a metalloid, carbon and phosphorus as nonmetals. I am very irritated by these classifications.

I think that article about "near-metalloids" or "metalloids closer to nonmetals" is needed and would be useful.

C and P have many properties which are too atypical for nonmetals. Metalloids are polymeric, nonmetals are diatomic, monoatomic (noble gases) or (rarely) oligomeric. Some metalloids form oligomeric allotropes, such as C60 (quite large nonmber of atoms in the molecule), P4, As4, Se8 or Sb4, but their main forms are polymeric and have much better conductivity than nonmetals. Main form of phosphorus is for me black (grey), not red or white. Diamond is not clearly nonmetallic. Melting point, hardness, thermal conductivity, density, structure are metalloidal (similar to Si, Ge, not to nonmetals, even not to Se and P), but wide band gap makes it colorless and electrically insulating. Diamond is an intermediate between metalloids and nonmetals, graphite is rather a metalloid. (talk) 20:58, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Carbon is not a nonmetal. It is better characterised as an intermediate between metalloids and nonmetals. It is definately too strange to be considered only as a nonmetal. The name "near-metalloid" or even "metalloid closer to nonmetals" would be better for this elements. Situation of P and Se is very similar. Selenium is quite commonly considered a metalloid, which is not an error when carbon and phosphorus are also considered metalloids. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:20, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Also wrong here is La and Ac as transition metals and not lanthanides and actinides! Double sharp (talk) 10:02, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

I "hate" classifications in which selenium is classified as a metalloid and carbon only as nonmetal. Carbon looks really "silly" in the nonmetal group with some of its weird properties (especially sublimation point). Classyfiyng C, P and Se as metalloids is not so wrong, but they are not typical examples of metalloids.

In my opinion no one solid element popularily classified as nonmetal (C, P, S, Se, I) is a good example of nonmetallic character, not because of solid state at STP, but structure (polymeric elements are rather "metalloidal" than nonmetallic) and (or) appearance.

It is worse (more inadequate) when aluminium and polonium are classified as metalloids instead of metals. They can be named just as poor metals, aluminium is even not so poor.

Elements with advantage of nonmetallic traits could be divided in other way - not by number of atoms (polyatomic, diatomic and monoatomic (noble gases), but by level of general metallicity. There are 2 - 3 classes:

  • H, C, P, S, Se, I, Rn - marked not-nonmetallic properties
  • He, N, O, F, Ne, Cl, Ar, Br, Kr, Xe - much better examples of nonmetals than elements in the previous group


  • S, I (mainly significant physical anomalies (higher metallicity especially in physical sense)), H, Rn (really marked chemical not-nonmetallic behaviors)
  • He, N, O, F, Ne, Cl, Ar, Br, Kr, Xe - much better examples of nonmetals than elements in the previous group (talk) 11:37, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Wrong classification is really popular. When Se, C, P are altogether named as nonmetals, it is appropiate. But when Se is pulled into metalloid group nd C and P stay in nonmetal ctegory, there is something wrong. When C, P, Se are in one nad the same class, error is not present. Of course they are not so good examples of nonmetals. "Near-metalloids" sounds even better than "polyatomic nonmetal".

There is also someting about metallicity of sulfur, it confirms that sulfur is closer to carbon than to nitrogen (this really weird property of S is decribed in a footnote in nonmetal article): "Conducting linear chains of sulphur inside carbon nanotubes"

It appears that sulfur is not so good nonmetal... Its electronegativity and ionisation energy are also rather low. Selenium is not so good to be named as a pure metalloid (it rather can be named as weak metalloid (rather a nonmetal than metal, not an element in between), but only together with C and P). (talk) 18:44, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

An example of "metalloidization" of selenium:

"Discovered in 1818, selenium is a soft metalloid or semimetal. It is similar to sulfur in many ways, but overall it is more like tellurium. Selenium exists in several allotropic forms, therefore, its physical appearance varies from a grey metallic appearance to a red glassy appearance. The red allotrope is unstable and reverts to the grey form under normal conditions."

"Carbon is a solid non-metal. It's been known since prehistoric times."

"Phosphorus is a nonmetal. The most common form of phosphorus, as well as some of its compounds, are noted for their ability to glow in the dark. " — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:32, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

It looks that chemically carbon may be more similar to sulfur than phosphorus, but physically it is rather like B and Si. P nd Se are more similar. P resembles As in fact, but not N. S is similar to polymeric elements, not to diatomic nonmetals (other than I). S is clearly anomalously metallic in comparison to its position in periodic table. C, Se are rather not, also Po. At can be also more metallic than it should be. H and He are definately less metallic. (talk) 15:50, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

What about something such as fcc-carbon ( Does this "metllic" allotrope relly exists? And also other "metallic" llotropes of this bizarre element are predicted (such as in Are there any more metallic allotropes of phosphorus stable at STP? What about rhombohedral and cubic black phosphorus? (talk) 20:34, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

What is appearance of pure graphite? It is usually present as dull black microcrystalline substance. (talk) 10:00, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

It is much easier to find true metals than to find solid (at STP nonmetal)...

A nonmetal should be volatile and monoatomic, diatomic or oligomeric, not polymeric like metaloid. And it should not have metalloidal appearance and relatively good conductivities. Graphite, black P and grey Se are clearly ruled out of nonmetals in this classification.

Iodine is diatomic and volatile, but has metalloidal appearance and not so low conductivity. Octasulfur is not so volatile (in comparison to other (better) nonmetals), has not so metallic appearance and is a good insulator. But some allotropes of sulfur (less stable) are polymeric. (talk) 20:52, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Periodic table footer into Navbox

I have moved Template:Periodic tables footer to Navbox periodic table (edit talk history links # /subpages /doc /doc edit /sbox /sbox diff /test).

Main reason is that it actually is used and perceived as a WP:navbox (by our readers), and because is has most of the the navbox features (layout, style, location at bottom of page, content) which is a strong article eh element. Some content changes may follow: a navbbox is an overview of the topic (Periodic table), not a list/category of Periodic tables. -DePiep (talk) 05:36, 15 February 2014 (UTC)


I've been copy editing fluorine for the past five weeks or so in order to get it ready for another FAC nomination. The only thing I have left to do is to recheck source reliability. If anyone would like to have a read of some or all of it to see if it appears FAC nom-worthy, that would be helpful. @R8R Gtrs: I'll let you know when I'm done checking source reliability. Sandbh (talk) 11:28, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Placement of hydrogen in the periodic table

Articles like these are surely the solution to this non-stop discussion, no? (By the way, as a reader but non-commenter I have observed that discussion become the cause of this project's productivity having gone down the rabbit hole).

Things like this solve everyone's problems. They address the fact that there are no easy ansers, and we should not try to enforce anyone's ideas over anyone else's. Perhaps in this case a note can be at the top saying "For [X reasons], Hydrogen is placed in [place] on Wikipedia", while acknowledging that this is not universally accepted.

I really think this approach should be taken everywhere. For example the comprehensive list in the Other metals article about alternative terms with slightly alternative definitions.

Wikipedia is not the place for original research. We must acknowledge the arbitrariness of many of the names applied in chemistry to chop up and divide things into nice neat rows and columns.. when nature is just a tad more complicated than that, and it won't always be merry and rosy.

So for every major discussion that's been had on this page, where applicable, I suggest an article should be created which explains all the different sides of the coin, and then perhaps explains tat for simplicity's sake (or some other reason) throughout Wikipedia a certain alternative has been chosen, although it is by no means the "correct" or "one-and-only" view.--Coin945 (talk) 03:22, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Good article Strong Support Double sharp (talk) 10:04, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
And yes, there does seem to be a correlation between our productivity and the presence of this sort of discussion. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll stop moonlighting on this project page and start getting superheavy elements to GA again... Double sharp (talk) 13:27, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Better spelled Placement of hydrogen in the periodic table, using lc's? Following generic WP:TITLE. Sure worth a topic, or at least a section, as proposer Coin945 says. -DePiep (talk) 14:26, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Yup. I did give one short paragraph to this issue in Alkali metal#Hydrogen, but it deserves a lot more than that, I think. We can talk about the four main alternatives: (1) over Li, (2) over C, (3) over F, and (4) floating, and show factors for and against these. We can additionally mentioned any other more oddball placements that have been used in any periodic table variant. Double sharp (talk) 15:40, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
Just start the article already and people will chip in. Nergaal (talk) 21:18, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
All right, I will. Double sharp (talk) 05:25, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
👍 Like Completely right about switching the article name to lowercase. Thanks for catching my cockup DePiep. :D--Coin945 (talk) 12:32, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Changed section title, no big deal. Now you make it blue! -DePiep (talk) 13:39, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeahh... i *would*... but since im a self-proclaimed reader-and-non-editor to this project, I really think it would be unwise of me to create a noobish stub article when there are others out there who are a lot more experienced than I. I can't wait to see what Double Sharp does with it, and I hope the underlying concept behind my initial comment (which is designed to finally being peace to this page and keep everybody happy) is taken wholeheartedly.--Coin945 (talk) 14:46, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Why not start that as a section title in Hydrogen? Others will help & improve, nothing can go wrong (Full disclusure: that is how I my stuff learned about periodic table and braille and IPA. I was just looking around & then seeing what edits stick. With a bit of care, a very rewarding route. But don't tell people, it might affect my standing here - OK?). -DePiep (talk) 11:53, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

After a bit of a deeper squiz at this page I thnk these articles should be made

  • Naming of elements (to discuss the "flerovium/ununtrium/element 113"-esque type things)
  • Something like Grouping of the periodic table, which examines the different ways the periodic table is chopped up into rows and columns according to different sources and practices, while also explaining the futility of such a practice due to nature's inherent aversion to such tidiness. It would go from left to right, and explain each of the controversies in turn. An article like Placement of hydrogen in the periodic table would be one of the sub-articles.
  • Perhaps a Placement of lanthinides and actinides in the periodic table article? There seems to be a lot to say on this topic. Maybe I'm wrong though. Against, that would be a sub article.
  • The metalloid problem has already been solved with those newly created articles.
-Coin945 (talk) 14:46, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Naming of elements: what is needed is a MOS-type, internal Wiki line. "Discussing" this in an article is not the place. Also, there are some naming-trouble articles around.
Grouping of the periodic table - as long as you do not use that word "group" outside of the PT-group=column definition. Today! I had to spend 200 edits to clean up this Category:Chemical element groups misnomers. Once and for all: group means column in the periodic table.
Now, there exists Names for sets of chemical elements, which should cover it. (FYI: until todaty it was named "Collective names of groups of like elements", sigh).
Placement of lanthinides and actinides in the periodic table: first take a look in Group 3 element and its talkpage. Also here above are many arguments and ref links in this topic. We just finished the Rare Earth Metal discussion!
As for starting: go ahead! It's easy to start with just a section, and let it grow. -DePiep (talk) 02:11, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Why do we use weird names like "unbiseptium"? (part two)

For part 1, see Archive 14#Why do we use weird names like "unbiseptium"?.
To speed up talkpage loading, the first part of the discussion, last edited in August 2013, is archived. The archived part is closed for edits but is not a closed discussion: edits can continue here in part two (one can mention the archive). -DePiep (talk) 08:46, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Even IUPAC is accepting the reality of some of this usage: "Prior to and during the naming process, the element may be referred to by its atomic number, as in 'element 118' or by its provisional systematic name, 'ununoctium'." They still recommend only the systematic symbol, but in practice nobody in real science uses that – and besides, saying "element 118" but using symbol "Uuo" is quite inconsistent. You should either use "Uuo" and "ununoctium" together (what we currently do), or use "E118" (possibly "118", "(118)") and "element 118" together (what we are proposing we should switch to doing). So the argument that the systematic names are IUPAC-recommended is quite weak. Double sharp (talk) 14:03, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

As IUPAC recommend, we should continue to go with "If a symbol is needed, the systematic, provisional three-letter symbol should be used". --John (talk) 18:21, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Disagree. IMHO we should reflect common usage. Double sharp (talk) 03:08, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Chemical nomenclature

@R8R: I just thought of something. By IUPAC nomenclature, the UutF
ion is named hexafluoroununtrate(V). Fine. How would we name this under your proposals ((113)F
)? Hexafluoro(113)ate(V)? Hexafluoro-113-ate(V)? Something else? Double sharp (talk) 12:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

WP:CHEMNAME is a MOS that says about Stock: we do not use "(V)" notation here at WP (content page names; in redirects we can). Still your question is valid for the specialized on-topic pages. In the lead or in its infobox: "(113)F
, also called hexafluoro-113-ate(V), ...". btw, this MOS rule is loose, e.g. iron(III) chloride is still there as the content page. -DePiep (talk) 11:15, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually, we do, but only for the cation. Hence we have iron(III) chloride but not potassium manganate(VII) (instead we have potassium permanganate). So I guess we would call the anion perfluoroununtrate currently. (Similarly to FlF2−
, which would be perfluoroflerovate.) But my question still stands: if we do not use "ununtrium" anymore, we cannot logically call the anion "perfluoroununtrate". So what do we use? "Perfluoro(113)ate"? "Perfluoro-113-ate"? (We might have to refer to the anion by name: it's interesting and quite notable that F is the only element that can bring elements 113 and 114 to their maximum oxidation states of +5 and +4 respectively.) Double sharp (talk) 04:04, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Or "Perfluoro-(113)-ate"? (I prefer this by word vision), "Perfluoro-(E113)-ate"? Since we write the rules here now, we could make an exception and allow the un-name, but I am with you in trying to prevent any exceptions whatever the cost.
Warning: since brackets are used in two meanings, a novice could read "(113)" as an oxidation state. Warning: don't try this at the lab. That could lead to a cold fusion career devastation. Anyway, such a state should be written (CXIII). ;-) -DePiep (talk) 07:52, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
I have serious doubts we'll ever see anything beyond around (XII). ;-)
Off topic: do we have a rule on what to do for negative oxidation states? E.g. in Ir(CO)3−
, Ir is in the −3 oxidation state. How is this written? Ir(−3)? Ir(−III)? I've seen both, but have no idea which is right, since we only use the oxidation state for the cations. Double sharp (talk) 11:56, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────On brackets, I found this in the red book 2005 (p 28, 17/paper). These enclosing sets are used: [], {}, () possibly nested - with the () brackets always the inner set. All fine. Their example formule shows a ...P(Ph)C... sequence to note an outrigged atom. To be consistent, we should prescribe to write ...P((113))C... in such situations then? (hey, somewhere the aluminum thing is raised again - allow me to create a problem proactively too ;-) ). -DePiep (talk) 11:52, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Existing MOS

There exists a MOS in this, WP:CHEMNAME. Any change we conclude should be added to that page (it has nothing on the un-named elements -- pun intended). I've dropped a note on their talkpage. -DePiep (talk) 09:34, 2 November 2013 (UTC)


The discussion is still; let's vote to see what people think

Here's a list of options:

No Element name
(and page title)
(for chem
Isotope Isotope name Isotopes page Comments
0 flerovium Fl Fl 289
flerovium-289 Isotopes of flerovium Example named element for reference (E114)
1 ununtrium Uut Uut The element Ununtrium does not exist. ununtrium-284 Isotopes of ununtrium What we have today
2.1 element 113 113 (113) 284113 element 113-284 Isotopes of element 113 (isotope requires  )
2.2 element 113 113 (113) 284113 284113 Isotopes of element 113 We can (not sure if we should, but we can) drop an isotope name, since literature refers to superheavies in this way only and we don't have nor are going to have an article of a title of this kind anytime soon. Even if we ever get one such article, we can the isotope writing for the title. See note3
3 element 113 E113 E113 284113 284113 or
element 113-284
Isotopes of element 113 See note3
4 Your suggestions are also welcome
  • see ununtrium, flerovium
  • Note2: "element name" will be the page title (with content). Other names will be Redirects.
  • Note3 on isotope page name: For consistency, proposals 2.2 and 3 state that isotopes pages will be named element 113-284 (not the untypable 284113; a redirect). This statement is also helpful for automation (generating isotopes page names). These pages do not exist yet. -DePiep (talk) 07:16, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
    I suppose I'm fine with that, given that there are currently no such pages. The two numbers at the end look confusing, but I see no plausible alternative that isn't untypable or excessively circumlocutary. Double sharp (talk) 09:26, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
    Why? We could have other names as redirects and have 284113 as the page title (which can be shown on the page with a subscript (there's a template(?) DISPLAYTITLE which can help us), so the title on the page would be 284113. (I actually had that in mind when constructing the table)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:02, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
R8R, that could come in play when these pages are needed (will have content). Then, an more specific, systematic page name can be constructed. For now, I only propose this name as a technically constructed name, always a redirect to whatever is good. I see no need to change the automated page name creation we have for all isotopes, just for un-named elements pages. My proposal serves blue links automatically well, which is OK for now. And: even for named elements we have do not have a page like [[233U]] or 233U. -DePiep (talk) 09:39, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Okay then.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 17:25, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
So: page name element 113-284 is generated (e.g., in a PT cell), exists as a page, and can be a Redirect to whatever the editor thinks good. -DePiep (talk) 07:08, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Option 1

Option 2

I'm for 2.2. Real-life usage, easy names (common, not generic), easy to read, write, and remember. Also suits in formulas.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 19:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Support 2.2 per R8R Gtrs. Double sharp (talk) 09:25, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Question 1: so in pages like Isotopes of ununtrium we completely replace "Uut" with "113" in equations like:
+ 48
The element Ununtrium does not exist. + 1
+ 48
+ 1
(to be; 113 link to be added).
Yes. I would try to ditch the atomic numbers altogether when possible, though.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 09:33, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Question 2, to check: In chemical formulae brackets already have a meaning. We will expect & accept (example by Double sharp above, 12:19 21 August): (113)F
; (164)(CN)2−
-DePiep (talk) 07:55, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes. This is the real scientific usage. By the way, parentheses are not confusing here because they only mean "group a few objects together," and here you're grouping one object, which is an empty operation (but makes the numerical symbol look a little different and not confusing with actual numbers. Compare 117H (what? 117 atoms of H?) and (117)H (a molecule of a (117) atom and an H atom)).--R8R Gtrs (talk) 09:33, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Support. StringTheory11 (t • c) 18:00, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Option 3

In the lede and infobox

  • (I hope I am doing this correctly!) It makes no sense to include the proton shell numbers in the electron configuration box (directly under the sdfg electron orbital breakdown). It should be given it own box, with a title of something like "nucleus shell configuration".User talk: NEW? (talk) 20:45, 26 January 2014 (UTC) Aaron Tovish
That's not the proton shell configuration: that's simply a count of how many electrons there are in each shell. (Although I'm personally in favour of ditching that and just keeping the [Xe]4f15d1-style configurations.) Double sharp (talk) 11:20, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

About what to write in the element page lede and infobox.

  • Prohibitive objection (convinced, see below): "E113" is OK for talkpage, but should not be used in content space at all. (Whereas, all other names and such will appear in the element's lead & infobox). -DePiep (talk) 06:47, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Why so? It is one of the many standard and actually used abbreviations. I don't think we should dismiss the suggestion outright; even if it's not accepted, I see no harm in listing it in the element's lede (e.g. "Element 113 is an extremely radioactive synthetic element...with chemical symbol 113 (sometimes stylized as (113) or E113).)
    • P.S. With this change we need to rethink our lede sections for the unnamed superheavy elements, because it sounds daft to say "Element 113 is the temporary name of the element with atomic number 113 and chemical symbol 113.". Double sharp (talk) 09:23, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Convinced for the lead thing, good text suggestion. We mention it in the lead, but do not use it in texts or formulae (that is forbidden if we accept this MOS proposal 2.1, 2.2). btw, the same lead will also say: Element 113, or ununtrium, is ...

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────So we write this in the lede, and also in the infobox for completeness there. I suggest to add an extra row in the infobox for these names:

|alternatives=ununtrium, Uut, (113), E113
Name, symbol, number element 113, 113, 113
Alternatives ununtrium, Uut, (113), E113

Notes: Should correspond with the lede. "|alternative names=" is formally incorrect, symbol can be included too. No links provided but references can be added easily, it is free text. Could also be used by for Al's aluminum. Comments anyone? -DePiep (talk) 11:25, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

In the periodic tables

Expanding on option 2.x here (alternatives when requested).

Compact cells

"Compact cells" have one single data, the element symbol. Usually linked (not in images). That are navigation PTs (page bottom), and templates like this (Janet Left Step). -DePiep (talk) 06:34, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Cn 113 Fl

I see no issue with this. -DePiep (talk) 06:34, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Support. Double sharp (talk) 06:50, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
No problems here. StringTheory11 (t • c) 18:00, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Regular cells

"Regular cells" have more data, but will stay within page width. The basic PTs. 2.x would look like this:

7 Fran­cium87Fr Coper­nicium112Cn Element 113113113 Flerov­ium114Fl Element 115115115
Not very nice, but I still propose to do it this way. It supports the PT structure consistently (what data in what position). -DePiep (talk) 06:34, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Can we not allow a linebreak between "element" and the atomic number? – seeing "113 (br) 113 (br) 113" is just too much, I think. Double sharp (talk) 06:50, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
That would need the cell wider, making them irregular width in over the groups (we already need the whole page width this way). That is definitely looking bad. On top of that, to get the nice regular group width, they have a rigorously fixed width (calculated from available page width, without minding the content). We'd have to loose that. A consequence of single-line text, in current layout, would be that excess " 113" disappears, hidden behind cell Fl. Example 115 is technically possible, but alas. -DePiep (talk) 08:17, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
In that case, I think we should leave it as it is. Slightly off-putting, but not ugly, and it's certainly still correct. Double sharp (talk) 10:36, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Can we remove the lower lower 113, and link the element article from the upper (remaining) 113? IMHO it would look better, and more consistent (basically the old cell without a symbol). StringTheory11 (t • c) 18:00, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
We could do that. I don't like that because it breaks the pattern we have: name, number, symbol. If we choose these to be something 113, we should stick to it ("the symbol is 113, just as another symbol is Cn"). Same reason why I wouldn't leave out the atomic number. Minor thing: linking the atomic number would remove the meaningful grey font color ("predicted"). Al together, I vote to keep the regularity even with this strange but correct effect. It actually helps the reader recognizing "113" as a symbol, good. Leaving something out is more strange. -DePiep (talk) 18:33, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Large cells

"Large cells" allow a PT to exceed page width. They can contain more data per cell.

  • When we define symbol=113 (2.1, 2.2), the small PT's use 113 all right. The bigger ones like this large one show name, symbol (big & bold) and atomic number. Should they show "113", "element 113" and "113" then? Consistency says yes, expectation might lean to "symbol=Uut" here. Or maybe "name =ununtrium"? What to do? -DePiep (talk) 08:19, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
    • I once saw the solution "symbol=E113" and "name=Element 113". We could use this, naturally changing the symbol to just 113. Double sharp (talk) 09:15, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
    (off topic: in Russian tables, this is commonly handled this way: look for element 110)
    But as for me, I would skip the atomic number (since symbol is atomic number), and leave name "element 113," since you have to read that "113" somehow.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 09:24, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
F in the examples. -DePiep (talk) 19:21, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Would not leave out the atomic number, it's their only thing we have for sure ;-) ! It is correct, undisputed, and expected at that position in the PT cell.
Since there is space, we can write for the name-spot: "element 113 or ununtrium", and symbol-spot "Uut or (113)". For completeness and to clarify for the reader (who may see these different id's all around, and somewhere must find the connection confirmed). -DePiep (talk) 10:03, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
C, D in the examples; After seeing the visuals, I prefer G. -DePiep (talk) 19:21, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
@R8R: (off topic) I'm impressed that they gave the correct predicted electron configuration for Ds, instead of just copying Pt. Unfortunately they give the s2d configuration for Lr, which is a shame. Oh, and Ni is given 4s2 3d8, which is what we currently have: I'm thinking about whether we should change it to 4s1 3d9. (Expect a separate post on that to come soon.)
(I once saw an ancient paints-on-plywood table with uranium being a group 6 element :) Lanthanides were kept apart from other elements. They were also almost all labeled (n-1)d1(n-2)fx-1 (which was a historical reason for the /La/Ac layout to become standard back in the past). I actually never saw a completely correct table :) Maybe chemistry professors do.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:02, 13 November 2013 (UTC))
Well, hopefully WP can give a completely correct table! See {{Periodic table (electron configuration)}}.
Yes, that was (I think) the original reason for the Sc/Y/La/Ac layout. I'm not arguing for that layout for that reason, because it's wrong. I want to see if a reasonably strong case can be built for it. After all, Greenwood & Earnshaw and Holleman & Wiberg stuck to it through thick and thin (IIRC); there must be some explanation (and I'm not willing to believe that it's simply inertia).
A nice thing though about that Ln configuration hypothesis is that it explains rather neatly why they all show mostly the +3 oxidation state; the 6s and 5d electrons would be lost. Now that we know the true Ln general electron configuration to be [Xe] 4fx 6s2, it's quite a bit harder to explain this: I gave you a PDF explaining it. ;-) Double sharp (talk) 15:24, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I would not want to give two names in the PT. The primary one is "element 113", and it is the one you will see. Other names are not primary and should not be given the spotlight on our main PT. E.g. in Thayer's paper, where he gives alternative names, you see E113 listed as "Element 113 (Ununtrium, Eka-Thallium)", and the element is henceforth referred to as "element 113" exclusively. Methinks the entire naming issue is better for the lede of the element article itself, and we do not have to talk about it in as much detail in the main PT article. Double sharp (talk) 03:56, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
B, E (F?) in the examples, symbols left to choose. -DePiep (talk) 19:21, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
But in other places the un-name is used legally and formally. I'd find it an omission when one can not find that in a large PT. Repetition of the number is not a problem for me; it even helps associating the names. -DePiep (talk) 07:55, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Option 2.2 in spacious cells (as in this large PT)
named current A
2.2c straight
2.2, brackets
as B, but
no brackts
(R8R 09:24)
no atomic nr
as B with
both names
by R8R)
as G, no brackets
Element 113 [286] Element 113
or Ununtrium
Element 113
or Ununtrium
Element 113
Element 113 [286] Element 113
Element 113
Element 113
Layout: Do not mind the links & positionings for now (just the data, please) OK now.
(using {{element cell-large/sandbox}})

E, F, G, H added later (Nov 14), J. Set colors to "unknown phase, unknown chemical properties" (greys); Nov 22.

  • B is just sweet.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 16:26, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Added your earlier suggestion "no atomic number" (F; 09:24 above) -- I hope you won't change this B opinion now ;-) . -DePiep (talk) 08:43, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Now that we have it, I actually think F is even better, but am completely okay with B as well.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:38, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry. I've taken another look, and I've made a mistake. I though F was what now is H. I'm for H, not F. B is still okay by me.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 17:17, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
(re R8R) As I said above, F is leaving out the atomic number - the only thing that is without doubt in the whole cell ;-). -DePiep (talk) 15:09, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
E, F, G, H, J were added later, so one could have missed that. None were renamed (well, E was "current", as now is X). Your point is clear (atomic number 113 in, symbol 113 out). -DePiep (talk) 10:44, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I've been lurking this discussion for a while and thought I would chime in. I prefer either B or G by far. B is good because it is clean and it is consistent with the other elements, but G is nice in that it is a simple compromise. Although the disadvantage of course is that it may be confusing to a casual reader (although if they then click on the article about the element to find out why it has two names listed, I guess that's not a bad thing either). Just my thoughts. Thingg 19:02, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Consistency with other elements is quite subjective: none of the others hight (Cognate of German heißen. Used only because I like its sound) "Element [their atomic number]". "Ununtrium" looks like a name in the sense of those of the other elements: it is but one word, and so obfuscated that the derivation is not transparent at first sight. Arguable both ways, it is.
    • Yet I would claim it to not be ideal to give both names, simply because one is prioritized over the other everywhere (science, WP in our proposed usage, in general everywhere but the fan pages like apsidium. Yes, I really did say fans. I suppose they ship Pr with Rf?) Also, it attacks consistency yet more, by giving two names where only one should suffice.
    • TL;DR Consistency is arguable; the proposed names are transparently derived in a way the IUPAC systematic names are not immediately so, and the trivial names for the elements are not at all. But given that the proposed names are most often used, I think it's even more of an offence to consistency to give two names without a really good reason. Double sharp (talk) 14:20, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • G preferred J no brackets/both names. A second, then B.
1. About a bracketed (113): what do brackets mean here? If we say "113" is the symbol, we should keep it. Brackets are used for "theoretical", "predicted" in all our ELEM pages, first of all. Our new in-formulae reasoning here is just secondary. And symbol 113 here is not in a formulae. Don't get mislead by the nicer view (less confusing indeed, but what?). Better stick to the principle we are choosing here.
2. Naming both names: this is in the large cells, where we have no space restrictions. Then, adding the a second, un-name allows for the reader to find & recognize a name that too is used, legally, in some publications (including popular articles). It does not contradict the other name we use. A bit the same as why we write the "Un-name" in the lede & infobox of an element: in the defining spot. -DePiep (talk) 15:09, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Changed to J, both names but no brackets in here. -DePiep (talk) 17:48, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
You have highlighted a flaw in our logic! Congratulations! (Not sarcastic, but sincere.)
Now I shall have to try to think of a way to rationalize this. If I can't, I'll change my vote. Double sharp (talk) 04:42, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. We must be tough on quality here at home, Berkeley is using our PTs. Would have guessed they'd have one of their own by now. Actually, the brackets have two issues: what do they mean here (1a) and why applied to the symbol here (1b). IOW, what would you write in the legend for this "()"? (theoretical question, <threat> I do not propose to actually add that -- unless it is ambiguous or not clear </threat>).
The good news is: the isolated examples here look a bit chaotic but in the full PT, with all the named elements in period, the general pattern is overwhelmingly visible (more of the Cn and Lv in the demo). The regular layout can absorb and comfort easily detail irregularities (like: repeated atomic numbers), and show the big scheme. -DePiep (talk) 05:29, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
(reads) They claim discovery of No, Lr, Db, and Sg? [closes tab] [waves Soviet flag]
But seriously, brackets were and are a clarity-ensuring measure. When it is not confusing without the brackets, they are near-universally (I'm hesitant to say "universally") dispensed with. And you hit the mark with your note that brackets generally connote some sort of prediction around here, viz. the infoboxes' bracketing of unknown elements (which I think we should continue to do?). So I think, as jarring as it looks (apparent doubling of the atomic number), E is the logical way to go. Double sharp (talk) 10:35, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I can conclude: we absolutely forbid "(113)" brackets this way in a PT, because they'd introduce ambiguity (& confusion). A "predicted"/"unknown" statement in a PT is made by the grey color (font, or background; explained correctly in the legend). -DePiep (talk) 06:42, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I personally like option H, but of course with the 113 linked if possible. StringTheory11 (t • c) 18:00, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
We propose these Rules on writing, and in a major place where they are to be used we start making exceptions? If this is a consequence, I reject the naming proposal wholesale. -DePiep (talk) 09:39, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
I think their (plural, for ST11 and R8R; I need a proper gender-neutral pronoun) logic is that since the symbol and atomic number are the same, we should show only one. I beg to differ: this state of affairs is not the norm for the elements, and so we should alert the reader to this fact. Consistency is also desirable, besides. Double sharp (talk) 14:16, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, I can swee where your coming from with this, and although I still prefer H, I wouldn't have a problem with B or F (btw I'm a male). StringTheory11 (t • c) 23:29, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
F too eliminates a definition of a name/symbol/atomic_number we are proposing to accept. So I have the same objection. If one doesn't like seeing "113" in designated places, one should oppose that whole proposal (2.2 here), not just a detailed outcome. Note: this same issue plays in the infobox and lists like chemical elements. Option B has brackets (discussed & disapproved above). -DePiep (talk) 14:06, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I think B is so well-liked because it eliminates the state of affairs E gives, where the symbol and atomic number are a dry repetition of each other. But since that is the case in all contexts where that doesn't lead to confusion, IMHO we should not seek to hide or ameliorate it. F and H are even more drastic by removing one of them, which can to my mind lead to confusion: the reader might think that the element doesn't have a symbol, and seeing that no compounds of these unnamed elements are actually known and that the atomic number is being used as a symbol, conclude that he was right and that the atomic number is being used as a symbol because there is no symbol! (What is actually going on is that the symbol and the atomic number are the same.)
(@ST11: I meant that with my current usage of singular they I have to insert explanatory notes to differentiate between this usage and the usual plural they. Though it's quite likely to stay this way since the new coinages look weird to me and seem to require explanation, generic he is undesirable, and "he/she" is just ugh.) Double sharp (talk) 15:15, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Other suggestions and/or general comments

  • I am busy IRL, so I have limited time to respond. Please use some patience before concluding. I tend to 2.2 too, but I'd like to make some specifications & cghecks in existing articles. Oh, and could someone move the earlier discussion in this to archive for page speed? Thanks. -DePiep (talk) 11:52, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
 Done. -DePiep (talk) 08:54, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Writing the isotope "element 113-284" requires &amp;nbsp; always to prevent wrapping. Added to the table. Same for plain "element 113"? -DePiep (talk) 06:35, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Better: in automated name generation (where such a page name is generated) there should be a {{nowrap}} around it. The user shouldn't need to write the &nbsp;. -DePiep (talk) 05:08, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Tip: {{Physics particle}} allows easy composing an element by using |TL=284 for top-left: 284
    -DePiep (talk) 08:01, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Also, would anyone be so kind and invite WP:CHEMISTRY and WP:PHYSICS to this discussion? I suspect we could use other opinions (even when things are going my way)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:38, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

(A few other discussions on this page (and ones that are split off it too) could also use more people from WP:CHEMISTRY and WP:CHEMICALS)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:38, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

I noted this earlier at WT:CHEMNAMES; maybe the projects could be warned too. Feel free. -DePiep (talk) 14:51, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hey. Can we consider now the option 2.2e is the one we should get in use, or are there any objections?--R8R Gtrs (talk) 09:09, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

I want this in a MOS. Otherwise we'll have this talk every x months (x << 24). What's the procedure? -DePiep (talk) 09:49, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Here's the information (would you take care of this?). Meanwhile, can we consider this a WikiProject guideline?--R8R Gtrs (talk) 23:01, 26 December 2013 (UTC)


Guys, this is serious.

For now, I think it is clear we can use the outcome of the discussion as a WikiProject guideline because the proposal had little opposition.

I suggest we do so.

Later on, we may make it a MOS rule. Later, not now, unless someone here has time to commit to make this a MOS rule.

Look at the previous discussion and say yes or no. The discussion's been too long. It even came to a logical end, with consensus taking place, and it's not like we didn't give the time for opposition to arise (just look at it). It just hasn't been implemented.

I will implement it tomorrow or the day after, unless there are objections.

Let's give it a shot.

Objections?--R8R (talk) 17:49, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

If I can find time for it, I'd like to review the proposed rules for periodic tables (and my position therein): possibly there is more advantage to mention both "113, Uut" in a cell instead of repeating "113" for the sake of consistency. General uitline would not change: aricle name &tc to be "element 113". For formulae: no remark yet. -DePiep (talk) 13:04, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

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As of January, the popular pages tool has moved from the Toolserver to Wikimedia Tool Labs. The code has changed significantly from the Toolserver version, but users should notice few differences. Please take a moment to look over your project's list for any anomalies, such as pages that you expect to see that are missing or pages that seem to have more views than expected. Note that unlike other tools, this tool aggregates all views from redirects, which means it will typically have higher numbers. (For January 2014 specifically, 35 hours of data is missing from the WMF data, which was approximated from other dates. For most articles, this should yield a more accurate number. However, a few articles, like ones featured on the Main Page, may be off).

Web tools, to replace the ones at tools:~alexz/pop, will become available over the next few weeks at toollabs:popularpages. All of the historical data (back to July 2009 for some projects) has been copied over. The tool to view historical data is currently partially available (assessment data and a few projects may not be available at the moment). The tool to add new projects to the bot's list is also available now (editing the configuration of current projects coming soon). Unlike the previous tool, all changes will be effective immediately. OAuth is used to authenticate users, allowing only regular users to make changes to prevent abuse. A visible history of configuration additions and changes is coming soon. Once tools become fully available, their toolserver versions will redirect to Labs.

If you have any questions, want to report any bugs, or there are any features you would like to see that aren't currently available on the Toolserver tools, see the updated FAQ or contact me on my talk page. Mr.Z-bot (talk) (for Mr.Z-man) 04:57, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Note to fellow editors: for WP:ELEMENTS, this tool reports at Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements/Popular pages. Any other uses known? -DePiep (talk) 08:53, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Recent Changes: new box

Periodic Table overview (wide).svg
Recent changes in
List overview · Updated: 2017-05-20 · This box: v · t

The box is renewed. Links #@1 and #3 are taken from the assessment categories (importance), #2 is static. Any suggestions for more or adjusted lists are welcome. Note that it is helpful to keep (talk-)pages listed using {{WP Elements}}. -DePiep (talk) 21:26, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Rename pages 'Period X element' into 'Period X'

Pages not moved. This proposal was a procedural disaster, because instead of listing a properly-formatted RM per Wikipedia:Requested moves#Requesting_multiple_page_moves, the nominator split the discussion over two separate pages (the other being Talk:Period 1 element#Requested_move). The proposal was rejected on both pages, so the outcome is clear. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:58, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I propose to move/rename the pages Period X element to Period X.

The old name will be a redirect. See also Category:Periods in the periodic table.
No disambiguation is needed (no need to name the page 'Period 1 (periodic table)'). That is because 'Period 1' is not a conflicting article name. It currently is the redirect to the content page, so it is already occupied by the Chemical Elements topic. This for all periods 1–9.
Period 10: Period 10 element and Period 10 redirect to Extended periodic table, no change is needed.
Rationale: Per WP:TITLE, "period 1" is the proper noun for the topic. From that noun, we can dive into the constituing member elements as needed, but it is not necessary to describe or define the period the other way around, in a circumventing way like "Period 1 is the period that consists of (the) period 1 elements". Even stronger: the period is not defined by its members; the members are just added.
For example, compare this with the noun "team", that has multiple constituents (members) but is defined on its own (and singular at that). We title an article 'Team Y', and then write that Person Z is a member of 'Team Y' (not: 'Team Y member(s)').
What next: If this proposal concludes positive here (consensus), I'll ask an admin formally to do the swap. -DePiep (talk) 10:00, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Just discovered this proposal from a year ago. I didn't realize the periods were in there too. Anyway, this proposal stands. -DePiep (talk) 10:22, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
To reply here to those January 2013 arguments: I think both WP:TITLE and WP:DISAMBIGUATION are misunderstood by then-opponents. The title can be the noun, "period 1". And for the periods, there is no need to disambiguate. IUPAC Red Book (2005) does not mention "period" naming at all, which implies there is no issue to clarify in the first place. -DePiep (talk) 13:10, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I support this renaming proposal - it should have been done years ago! It was just a piece of clunkiness that got set up in Wikipedia's early years and nobody has ever gotten round to fixing it yet.--feline1 (talk) 11:32, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are many time-intervals etc called periods, and some sets of these are numbered 1 2 3 etc, and the columns in Bohr's table are only one of these. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:46, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
No, we don't need to change the scientific name of "period 1" because it does exists somewhere else too.
This is a matter of disambiguation: a title having multiple meanings (say, Period 1 in icehockey and in chemistry). WP has a single track solution for this (see WP:DISAMBIGUATION). That is not to change the noun, but to add a disambiguation term, in brackets, when needed. For example, 'mercury' has multiple meanings. To point to the element mercury, we do not change the title or name into like "mercury element". We made it mercury (element).
Now for a topic named period 1. If there were a naming conflict, we should disambiguate it (say into period 1 (periodic table). Not should we change its scientific name (not into period 1 of the periodic table, not into period 1 element).
And here there is no naming conflict: "period 1" has a primary usage for the periodic table. It trumps those other "period 1" topics. It simply shows today that there are no naming conflicts for period 1: it is about period 1 of the periodic table. End of story, end of problem. If, for example, there were a "period 1" in geology, that should be named like "period (geology)". -DePiep (talk) 12:46, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Periodic table (large version)

This should really be a template... --Jakob (talk) 01:38, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Isn't it one already? {{Periodic table (18 columns, large cells)}}. Double sharp (talk) 13:28, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
@Double sharp: But why is this an article in the first place? --Jakob (talk) 16:59, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
We cannot present any template as an "article" page in itself (that is, no Template:x is allowed as an article). So if we want a big periodic table like this one, we are supposed to wrap it in an article. That is what the page does. I find it easiest to treat the article as being a MOS:LIST (though the periodic table is two-dimensional of course). As long as we want the large-cell PT available, the page is the way.
I can add that article page Wide periodic table (large version) has the same issue. That PT is 32 columns wide. They could be merged. -DePiep (talk) 20:07, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Guys, look at how much energy is spent at figuring out how to remove one of the last FLs the project has. When was the last time this much energy was put into getting a new FL? Nergaal (talk) 22:29, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Don't worry, Nergaal! As I read this, Jakec/King jacob c just wondered why we should have an article with just one template. That is a Wikipedia quirk, I hope explained now. If there were a deletion suggestion in it, I'll be back! And I am still pondering whether to merge the big 32-column page into this one (both large PT's in one page). After all, this 18 or 32 columns difference is just layout, not structural. I guess our readers should not be bothered or confused too much by this. (If I'm correct, "wide" was applied to 1. the VIII to 18 column change in 1920's, 2. f-block inline or not, 3. Being "too wide" for a wikipedia page.) -DePiep (talk) 11:42, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Sulfur (pharmacy)

I wonder what this community thinks about this recent article specifically aimed at the medical apps of sulfur. Although the creation of this article is well intentioned, my recommendation is against its creation separate from sulfur. One could imagine that similar articles could be written for all the elements. Examples: Lithium (reducing agent), Oxygen (health benefits), Uranium (as nuclear fuel), etc. So I encourage editors to comment on this precedent. --Smokefoot (talk) 11:19, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes it should be merged, but to octasulfur, not sulfur as Sulfur (pharmacy) appears to be S8 not S. --Jakob (talk) 11:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Sulfur is 99% octasulfur. Octasulfur should probably be part of Allotropes of sulfur. These articles are being created etc by editors who are inexpert on sulfur chem. --Smokefoot (talk) 13:04, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I think a merge to Sulpha might be better. (I wonder if in-fact the article was supposed to be about those drugs?) Project Osprey (talk) 16:09, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
We have Lithium (medication), and if someone had time it would be easy to make a long article about lithium as reduction agent too. We have uranium mining, and in matter of fact we have Uranium (as nuclear fuel), its called Nuclear fission, we have the opposite of oxygen (heath benefits), named Oxygen toxicity. I think we should look at the article and if its not notable it should be merge or deleted. Christian75 (talk) 21:41, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Stubs of brand new articles!

Well I went ahead and made stubs for those articles I was talking about before. As I said, I totally don't have the qualifications to work on any of these (considering I didnt take part in any of those intense discussions you guys were having). But hopefully you can use these skeletons as the templates for really great articles.--Coin945 (talk) 11:04, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Categorisation of the periodic table

Discuss what needs to be done to improve this article below.--Coin945 (talk) 11:07, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Placement of hydrogen in the periodic table

Discuss what needs to be done to improve this article below.--Coin945 (talk) 11:07, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Placement of lanthanides and actinides in the periodic table

Discuss what needs to be done to improve this article below.--Coin945 (talk) 11:07, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Naming of elements

Discuss what needs to be done to improve this article below.--Coin945 (talk) 11:07, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

And look at how much energy was spent building content after those humongous discussions! And those discussions had humongous lists of refs also!!!! Nergaal (talk) 08:54, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Hey, I'm working on polytopes for the moment (I do need a vacation after that discussion megacluster), but I feel an urge to get to this brought on by your comment. Some time this week, perhaps? Double sharp (talk) 14:42, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
There surely are better processes to get that content, but Coin945 is expressing good faith only. -DePiep (talk) 18:14, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, all i ever wanted to do was provide a solution to those horrifically long discussions that probably deterred many people from contributing to this WikiPeoject (and certainly slowed down the number of GAs/FAs). It was never my intention to do anything more. Improve the articles, or delete them. Either way I offered them as a constructive alternative that would solve everybody's problems and hopefully bring some order to the project. But as I explained, I will not improve them myself.--Coin945 (talk) 13:18, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
If that is the case & cause, we can be more rigorous with these stubs. Delete them, and develop them as a section in an appropriate article. No one has prevented you from doing so in the first place. And of course, discussions here are horrifically long for a reason. Or did you have a shortcut solution for one of the issues in p-block? -DePiep (talk) 13:32, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
In case you didnt read the discussion above, ill sum it up here. In a nutshell, my reasoning was that there were no easy answers to any of these issues and teher would always be conflicting opinions, so rather than having a situation where one side will inevitably lose and probably be really angry.annoyed, by creating an article that explains alt he different alternatives, and then adds a note saying that Wikipedia has arbitrarily chosen one of them for convenience, it is a much healthier way of going about the problem. So that is why I thgouht these articles should exist. It is out of my hands now.--Coin945 (talk) 14:08, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Of course I read this page. While I know you are workig in good faith (and to improve the Elements), I do not support this route. Had a stub you made been filled by now, you'd have a point for that one. Now there is none. -DePiep (talk) 22:19, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
@DePiep: Actually, the naming of elements stub has been filled in. --Jakob (talk) 22:38, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
If that is acceptable, one less to delete. Fine with me. I still don't see how these new article stubs clarify the Elements and their Relations. (Where is the love, for example. Or their chemistry? ;-) )-DePiep (talk) 22:45, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Vote: Group 3 metals; group 12 as poor metals

Please indicate your support or otherwise, for the following proposals:

A To show the group 3 elements as comprising Sc-Y-Lu-Lr

Support. Sandbh (talk) 03:51, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. I've tried to knock down the case for it in an effort to prove it's the best. I think I've convinced myself. Also, IUPAC nearly-official recognition. ;-) Double sharp (talk) 04:50, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. per reasons 4 & 6, especially Scerri's article. YBG (talk) 16:13, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. StringTheory11 (t • c) 21:37, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Oppose any modifications to the existing PT, which seems to be the most common one. Instead of deciding what table is right or wrong, we should simply go with whatever table is the most commonly used.--Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 22:52, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
The thing is, if we adopted that categorization, we would be still colouring Po as a metalloid, At as a halogen, and keeping the halogen and other nonmetals categories. But isn't that really terrible (and not just for the meaningless "other nonmetals" category)? If you look at detailed studies on the chemistries of the elements involved, you will see that Po is really very much more of a metal, and At is very much more of a metalloid. Would you rather believe them or popularized intro-to-the-elements sites for children? (Not that they're bad; it's just that we're not one of them, and can afford to look at the facts of chemistry, rather than parrot what other not-so-reliable sources say.)
In these cases, we have based the arguments on very strong chemical arguments from academic papers (quite a reliable source, no?) Double sharp (talk) 03:11, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Re Jacob Kjc: the google list you provided shows five different periodic tables on its the first page of six, all differeces exactly in this topic: categorization. It does not show a "common" one. -DePiep (talk) 03:29, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Quite. Furthermore (and quite amusingly), the first PT shown on the page already uses C (group 12 as poor metals). Double sharp (talk) 10:12, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. An elegant and well-based option (out of more valid options). Alternatives can be spun out in topical articles. -DePiep (talk) 11:50, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose Lu is the smallest lanthanide- with similar/higher CN than Sc. Axiosaurus (talk) 14:11, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
What's CN short for here? (Too used to seeing it mean "compound nucleus": I need to back away from the superheavy element articles for a while.) And why does Lu being the smallest lanthanide speak against such a placement? Double sharp (talk) 05:07, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Axiosaurus, could you clarify what confusion? Which nouns (or verbs) are confused? -DePiep (talk) 08:21, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry this is a vote not a debate.Axiosaurus (talk) 08:41, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Who is debating? I see questions. Four five question marks for you. Why don't you use the space below, like others do? (six). -DePiep (talk) 11:10, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Other voters are more polite than I am! You obviously disagree with my opinions, that is your right. If you only wanted positive responses you should have said so. I read the arguments, I voted, I gave my reason, and for me that is the end of story. Axiosaurus (talk) 12:37, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I ask questions even for those who agree with me. ;-) (Still wondering what "CN" referred to in this context, though.) Double sharp (talk) 10:35, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Support. Plasmic Physics (talk) 02:14, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Would you like to state your reason? (It's fine if you don't; just wondering.) Double sharp (talk) 10:35, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
It is heuristically useful to group the blocks together. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:09, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Neutral. I actually love the idea, but not sure if that's right to use it here. I mean, Jakob has a point of having the most heavily used version, not the "right" one (a thing that can't exist in principle). Of course, Google Images search doesn't count as a research, for obvious reasons (it doesn't represent the whole picture. Even if you manage to look thru all of these images, the ratios would be much different when you try it in the real world. Would maybe be. In either case, Google Images is not enough). Colors are sure a thing an editor can choose as he wishes, no matter what other think (do I need to prove this?),

but structure... I'm not 100% sure.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:52, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Oppose. Poorly framed proposal. What exactly will be changed in the encyclopedia, how is it now, and how will the proposal change it? IUPAC takes no position. Why should Wikipedia? Some chemists did it that way in the '20s and '30s. So what? Scerri and Jensen and others may convince IUPAC to change. When IUPAC changes, we'll change the encyclopedia. Until then, we reflect the reality of the current ambiguity of categorization because encyclopedias usually do that sort of thing. They reflect the opinions of international organizations of nomenclature instead of creating their own opinions. Duh. Flying Jazz (talk) 19:07, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
One of my reasons for supporting this originally was because we currently use the 32-column table pretty widely, which all but forces you to take a stand on whether La or Lu is in group 3. Hence putting Lu in group 3 generates consistency with the 32-column table format we are using – a format in which it is pretty hard to replicate IUPAC's neutral table. But I'm increasingly thinking that this is more of an argument to move to the much more common 18-column format instead.
If IUPAC's Sc/Y/*/** format is recommended by them, then I would oppose changing it, unless (of course) IUPAC ever alters this recommendation.
I am not sure, though, if IUPAC's neutral table is actually their position. It's also plausible that they don't actually recommend a particular version of the table and simply show this format as a compromise between Sc/Y/La/Ac and Sc/Y/Lu/Lr: this is the case AFAIK (if it's not, correct me, and I'll change my vote to oppose). In this case, the argument from IUPAC becomes a lot weaker, and we can resort to debating about the science. In this case, I think Sc/Y/Lu/Lr is superior, and that we should use it.
One thing IUPAC does make clear in its definitions, though, is that the group 3 elements are transition metals. It's true that not all authors support this: while this is more than a fringe view, and deserves some recognition and explanation in the articles on the group 3 elements and transition metals, it absolutely should not be used as default on Wikipedia. (And while this is arguably better placed in the next section, "rare earth metals" isn't really that great a category even if you ignore IUPAC, as it ignores Ac.) Double sharp (talk) 13:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Strongly oppose. I've mafe my views known elswher on this talk page. Here I just wanted to point out another ambiguity. B and Al are conventionally placed in group 13. They would be equally well-placed in group 3, but no-one is suggesting that, except me ;-). Petergans (talk) 09:02, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

B: To colour Sc-Y-Lu, and the lanthanide series, as rare earth metals. (Lr would be shown as an actinide).

Support. Sandbh (talk) 03:51, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. (Isn't Lu still a lanthanide?) Double sharp (talk) 04:50, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Changed vote to Oppose. IUPAC classifies the group 3 elements as transition metals: there would have to be a really strong reason to do otherwise. In my opinion, this isn't strong enough. Double sharp (talk) 13:08, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Support. per reasons 4 & 5. YBG (talk) 16:13, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. StringTheory11 (t • c) 21:37, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Oppose any modifications to the existing PT, which seems to be the most common one. Instead of deciding what table is right or wrong, we should simply go with whatever table is the most commonly used.--Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 22:52, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. REM makes it all less-disputed categories. Mixing categories (colors) somehow, or adding details does not fit periodic tables in this scale. -DePiep (talk) 11:50, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose I cannot see any benefit in lumping these all together- it will just cause confusion Axiosaurus (talk) 14:11, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Why? Sc and Y are much more similar to the lanthanides than the transition metals. This classification shows that. How will this create confusion? Double sharp (talk) 05:07, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Support. Plasmic Physics (talk) 02:14, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Would you like to state your reason? (It's fine if you don't; just wondering.) Double sharp (talk) 10:35, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
They are commonly associated with other lanthanide minerals. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:09, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Strong oppose. Please give me some time to write down heat I think about this. Am I allowed to add points to reasonings below or should I mark it as Sandbh's opinion?--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:52, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe start a new section on 'rare earths as a category' or something like that, and cross reference it to this vote. Sandbh (talk) 21:01, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose. Rare earth metals is an officially recognized IUPAC collective name. So what? So are lanthanides. IUPAC may have self-contradictory definitions of transition elements because it reflects ambiguities in the way chemists use the term worldwide. So what? Actinides in some contexts can be considered transition metals because they're inner transition metals. Is "inner transition" a phrase in-and-of-itself or does it describe a type of transition metal? That semantic discussion is debatable. The main table on the IUPAC website, , uses the layout we have and colors the lanthanides and actinides like we do here. It's been that way at IUPAC and Wikipedia for years and years. Sure, we could color things another way and still be correct, not wrong, and OK. But I haven't been convinced about any good reason to make the change. Flying Jazz (talk) 19:20, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

C: To categorise the group 12 metals as poor metals.

Support. Sandbh (talk) 03:51, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Strong Support. In my opinion, the most important one. Double sharp (talk) 04:50, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. per reasons 3 & 6. YBG (talk) 16:13, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Neutral. Although this is only for categorization purposes, this is still a quite informal designation. I'd rather call those "base metals" or simply "metals".--AlchemistOfJoy (talk) 16:23, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Comment "Base metals" won't work: Fe, Ni, and Cu would also fall here under the Wikipedia definition. Neither would "metals", because that also includes the elements of groups 1 to 11. Double sharp (talk) 10:35, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Support. StringTheory11 (t • c) 21:37, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Oppose any modifications to the existing PT, which seems to be the most common one. Instead of deciding what table is right or wrong, we should simply go with whatever table is the most commonly used.--Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 22:52, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Support. A categorisation that leaves least scientific disputes to be shown; and anyway these can be noted in full in respective articles. -DePiep (talk) 11:50, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Oppose. Plasmic Physics (talk) 02:14, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Would you like to state your reason? (It's fine if you don't; just wondering.) Double sharp (talk) 10:35, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Under certain conditions, they do behave as transition metals. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:09, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. So do K, Rb, and Cs, taking a d1 electron configuration at high pressure. Do you think they should count as transition metals too? Double sharp (talk) 13:52, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I was considering chemical conditions, not physical (temperature, pressure, etc.) Plasmic Physics (talk) 20:51, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Humorously False Dichotomy Group 12 elements are classified as transition metals in some perfectly sound educational and non-educational resources but not others. Wikipedia could go either way in terms of calling group 12 elements transition metals or not with sound reasoning and ample support for either choice. I imagine that this might be what you're discussing, but it's a bit difficult to tell because of the prior decision by editors in this Project to recreate the "Poor Metals" category as a color in Wikipedia's table, a viewpoint that was appropriately mocked and disparaged by Wikipedia editors years ago. Back then, alas, there was more hope that scientific matters could be covered at Wikipedia in a reasonable way. The very question "should group 12 metals be categorized as Poor Metals?" indicates that several key editors in this Project have departed from consideration for the reader to the extent they don't even know how to ask useful questions any longer. Flying Jazz (talk) 19:02, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
While I'm neutral here, DS and Sandbh, I have seen you Poor metal article draft (it's decent), but you are marginalizing one thing. Group 12 is categorized among poor metals in 50% cases. The opposite categorization has fifty as well. You should have an explicit accent about this in the lead, even though you are allowed to stick to one version later on. See group 3 element for example (note the lead with no -Lu-Lr preference over -La-Ac, and the note in the infobox.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:52, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, agree. Will add something to the draft about this. Sandbh (talk) 21:16, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Strongly oppose
Minus hydration enthalpy for (octahedral) divalent transition metal M2+ ions
  1. This is not a commonly used designation
  2. There is nothing “poor” about these metallic elements
  3. As correctly pointed out above, the chemical properties overlap with both the transition elements and the main group and elements in column 13 onward of the Periodic Table. They should be called “Group 12 elements”. This is accurate, concise, descriptive and unambiguous, leaving open their inclusion ,for example, with the transition metals in crystal field theory where they, together with the elements Ca and Sr provide baseline points against which to measure crystal field stabilization energy and its effects for divalent ions, and with Sc and Y for trivalent ions. Petergans (talk) 17:15, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  1. Agree. In the absence of a commonly used term for the group 12 to 16 metals there has been some subsequent discussion (earlier in this page) about referring to these elements by the descriptive term, 'weak main group metals.'
  2. Really? They are 'poor' in the sense of wanting in metallic character, as manifested by a marked reduction in metallic character on proceeding from group 11 to group 12. A 'poor' metal in this sense is similar in meaning to the expression, 'a poor gentleman'.
  3. Overlap with TMs lacks substance. Any overlap in properties between the group 12 metals, and either the transition metals or the main group 12 to 16 metals, is heavily weighted towards the main group metals. Supporting citations can be found here. The group 12 elements are not that unique that they need their own category. Whether or not they are shown as poor metals or weak main group metals or junior metals (only kidding on that last one), they can just as easily be included with the transition metals for crystal field theory purposes, in the same way that the alkaline earth metals Ca and Sr are included with the transition metals for these purposes. Sandbh (talk) 04:31, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Reasoning and considerations

A. Sc-Y-Lu-Lr

  1. IUPAC doesn't have a position on the composition of group 3.
  2. A number of chemists in the 1920's and 30's assigned Lu rather than La to group 3 on the basis that the chemical properties of Y, and Sc to a lesser extent, were closer to Lu.
  3. That La and Ac are sometimes shown as group 3 members appears to have originated in the 1940s based on electronic configurations and the concept of the differentiating electron.
  4. Arguments as to the composition of group 3 should turn upon more than the single concept of a differentiating electron.
  5. There remains a reasonable body of physics and chemistry-based evidence favouring the assignment of Lu and Lr to group 3.
  6. Eric Scerri has recently presented arguments [3], including those based on the construction of the long-form of the periodic table, supporting the assignment of Lu and Lr to group 3. IUPAC have since asked him to form a working group with a view to making this change official.
Supplementary note: See also Jensen's 2009 commentary on this question, here. Sandbh (talk) 00:15, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

B. Rare earth metals

  1. 'Rare earth metals' is an officially recognised IUPAC collective name for Sc, Y and the lanthanides.
  2. A failing of the IUPAC definition of a transition element ('An element whose atom has an incomplete d sub-shell, or which can give rise to cations with an incomplete d sub-shell.') is that La, Gd, and Lu should all be counted as transition metals. However they are instead routinely recognised as lanthanides or rare earths, on the basis of their common properties. Same thing happens with Ac, Th, Pa, U, Np and Cm. They meet the IUPAC definition of TMs but are instead recognised as actinides, again on the basis of common properties.
  3. A majority of UK-based chemistry syllabi according to Jim Clark of, don't treat Sc and Y as transition metals because they don't form transition metal ions (i.e. those having incompletely filled d orbitals).
  4. References that treat Sc and Y as transition metals usually include words to the effect that, or which imply that, the group 3 metals are "atypical" TMs as they demonstrate very few TM properties. Often the group 3 metals are included in the chapter or section dealing with the lanthanides or rare earths, on account of their related properties.
  5. By colouring Sc, Y and the lanthanides as rare earth metals we sidestep the 'are-group-3-elements-TMs-or-not debate', and associated differences in periodic table representations, whilst remaining IUPAC observant. The debate can be noted, for example, in the group 3 article (e.g. in terms of the differentiating electron, they could be regarded as TMs however in terms of their overall properties they are closer to the lanthanides). We also avoid the need for mixed categories.
  6. Most of the rare earth metals are not particularly rare however deposits that are large and concentrated enough to be worth mining are rare, hence the continuing relevance of the name. The near-ubiquity of the rare earth metals in modern technology, combined with supply concerns, has also raised popular interest in this previously lesser known category of metals. Related quotes: 1. 'Basic rare-earth science has not been a focus of most U.S. research centers for quite a long time, "but suddenly it has come roaring back…"; 2. 'The rare earths are very much…of strategic importance to the defense industry…'; 3. 'During the past twenty years there has been an explosion in demand for many items that require rare earth metals…global demand for automobiles, consumer electronics, energy efficient lighting and catalysts is expected to rise rapidly in the future. Rare earth elements are heavily used in all of these industries and their use is expected to rise.'

C. Group 12 as poor metals

  1. The status of the group 12 metals, from an IUPAC perspective, is ambiguous. They (the group 12 metals) don't meet the IUPAC Gold Book definition of a transition element ('An element whose atom has an incomplete d sub-shell, or which can give rise to cations with an incomplete d sub-shell.'). The IUPAC Red Book, however, notes that the group 3–12 elements are commonly referred to as transition elements albeit the group 12 elements are not always included.
  2. Writing in 1971 in the Journal of Chemical Education about how periodic table groups and subgroups should be designated, Fernelius, Loening & Adams (p. 595) said, 'The situation for Zn, Cd, and Hg is different. They form no compounds having incomplete d orbitals and hence have no transition metal character. Still one wishes to distinguish these from Ca, Sr, Ba in some manner. No one has suggested a good term for this.' The situation hasn't changed much since they wrote this. I'm not sure they knew that Zn, Cd and Hg were sometimes referred to as the volatile metals. HgF4 has also since been synthesized at conditions close to absolute zero, so in this sense Hg could be regarded as a transition metal however this can give rise to the proposition that, for example, K, Rb and Cs are transition metals on the basis that they adopt a d1 configurations, at high pressure. Based on current understanding, it is reasonable to conclude that Hg is not a transition metal at, or near, ambient conditions.
  3. Smith (1990. p. 113) observed that, '…the triad Zn , Cd and Hg have more in common with their immediate neighbours in the p block then they do with their neighbours on the other side, in the d block. Textbook writers have always found difficulty in dealing with these elements.' [Smith then said that, 'In this book, they will be placed with either the transition elements or the Main Group elements, as the occasion demands.']
  4. Jensen, in his article (2003) on the place of the group 12 metals in the periodic table, noted a roughly 50-50 split between texts that included them in the transition metals and texts that didn't. As noted by him in his examples, 'The inorganic textbook by Cotton and Wilkinson,which has served as the American standard for nearly 40 years, has always been firm in its treatment of the members of the Zn group as main-block elements, whereas the text by Holleman and Wiberg, which has served as the German standard in this field for nearly a century,has always classified them as outer-transition metals.'
  5. There is no widely used category name for these metals.
  6. They are closest in properties to the group 13-16 metals.
  7. 'Poor metals' seems to be the most apt collective name for the group 12-16 metals, given their weak physical characteristics combined with significant nonmetallic characteristics, and the menagerie of alternative names by which they have been called, as surveyed here.
  • Smith DW 1990, Inorganic substances: A prelude to the study of descriptive inorganic chemistry, Cambridge University, Cambridge, ISBN 0521337380

Sandbh (talk) 03:51, 24 November 2013 (UTC)


See also section #Base metals or poor metals?. -DePiep (talk) 16:00, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Aluminium and post-transition metals

Ping @R8R Gtrs: just to note that their contribution has moved to this place and is growing some fruit. -DePiep (talk) 08:08, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

So, why don't we use the name "post-transition metals and aluminium" for what we now call "poor metals"? Quite unusual for us, but lets group them alltogether under a technically right name (also hopefully understandable). If anyone is afraid of the compound name, well, people deal with such situations (Western European and Others Group is the first example to come to my mind, albeit not the best one around)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 14:53, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Fresh thinking that lights up my Xmas tree from several perspectives. Indisputably a factually correct descriptive term. Appropriate stage presence for both Al and the PTMs yet still keeps them together. Accommodates the group 12 metals in the article, even if only for comparative purposes. I can imagine a book with a chapter name called this. Conveys an interesting association as well as the intriguing implications of the phrase "post-transition". Accommodates copernicium either way. WP guideline acceptable; and a neutral descriptive phrase but with information content. Suggest "Aluminium and the post-transition metals" as a more visually congruent order, and also to enable a more concise short form = APT metals. Will now ponder some more to see if all angles have been covered, and at this stage it looks superb, thanks to R8R's insight. Sandbh (talk) 22:28, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I actually like this one. It's a good way to split those elements into categories. But since you don't have a singular category name, it kinda leaves open the question "why did you force Al into this group where it doesn't quite fit?" I mean, I can see why you want to do it, and also get rid of poor metals (I'll never understand why everyone seems to hate it), but this sort of compound name to include only one other element feels like cheating and not really being representative of the fudged-in element Al. E.g. Something like "hydrogen and typical nonmetals"; hydrogen isn't a typical nonmetal, so why do that? For "aluminium and post-transition metals", aluminium isn't a post-transition metal, so why do that? IMO it is better and more informative about the elements if a single category name can be used. Double sharp (talk) 09:23, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
VG to hear you like this one. It doesn't seem like cheating to me. Showing Al as the 'lead' in the compound name conveys to me that Al is a little bit special, and yet it's still a part of the 'aluminium and the transition metals' category. That strikes me as interesting and worthy of further inquiry. And clicking through to the article (using the extant 'poor metals' title) would hopefully show the homogeneity of the category and that Al is a little bit 'tougher' than some of the rest of the poor metals, but still a worthy poor metal in comparison to the rest of the metals. It's somewhat analogous to sources that use the expression 'hydrogen and the alkali metals', except that here the separation between H and the alkali metals is more, yet no one fusses (to my knowledge) about this phrasing. Or including Be and Mg in the alkaline earth metals, despite the differences in properties compared with Ca-Ra. Or 'scandium, yttrium and the lanthanides' despite the differences in electron configurations. Al isn't a post-transition metal but at least it's a metal, unlike H. I don't think the the difference in Al's core electron configuration outweighs the many similarities in physical and chemical properties with the rest of the poor metals, kind of in the same way that Jensen and Scerri say these kinds of things should be determined by more than differentiating electrons (albeit the interesting difference in electron config between Al and the other poor metals could be noted in the article). A single category name is better, I agree. However, there's no such singular name in the literature. And probably, 'aluminium and the post-transition metals' has more good things going for it than any of the (nearly 20?) options we've considered to date, even if it is a compound name. Those are my thoughts for now. Sandbh (talk) 11:16, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Some thoughts on the wording in this categorization (not about the grouping concept of "Al+PTM" itself). So we create a category name "Aluminium and post-transition metals". Right after that, aluminium is an aluminium and post-transition metal. Also zinc is an aluminium and post-transition metal. Lead is in the category aluminium and post-transition metals. (all as chromium is a transition metal). Somewhere we'll have to write: the aluminium and post-transition metals are: aluminium, zinc, .... Clearly, we don't use any quotes in regular category prose, and we will not for this one. I think flipping the sequence doesn't actually reduce the awkwardness: aluminium is a post-transition metal and aluminium. There is also the seduction of editors leaving out "aluminium and" asap whenever possible, simply writing "post-transition metal(s)" (without being wrong). This is just chewing on it, I don't suggest we cannot use that term.
One more simple question. Do I understand that using the word "post-transition metal(s)" is virtually without problems (of habits & occurrence & definition & science)? (a short yes/no could do). -DePiep (talk) 13:53, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
The lack of a nice adjectival form for the APT metals (although that could work) requires more careful writing. Perhaps:
  • Aluminium and the post transition metals are generally characterised by weak physical and chemical properties.
  • Consistent with their position between the true metals and the metalloids, aluminium and the post transition metals are...
  • Aluminium and the post transition metals, a category that is sometimes referred to as the 'poor metals'...
  • Aluminium, together with the post transition metals, makes up a category of metals that are characterised by diminished metallic character. Sometimes referred to as 'poor metals', they have melting points less than those of the transition metals, above average electronegativity values for metals, and a marked tendency to form covalent compounds with nonmetals.
  • Aluminium is included in this category together with the group 12 volatile metals, and the other p-block metals, in light of their commonalities of physical and chemical temperament.
  • Aluminium and the post-transition metals occupy frontier territory on the periodic table and this can be seen in the form of crystalline structures characterised by directional bonding and a marked incidence of amphoteric chemistry. Indeed, aluminium has sometimes been classified as a metalloid in light of its position next to the metal-nonmetal dividing line and its significant nonmetallic properties.
No, the PTMs are not without problems of definition. Same as the situation with where the TMs start and finish. Having said that I understand there are appreciably more references to group 12 as PTMs or main group metals than poor metals. Ditto group 13-16 metals. Sandbh (talk) 07:36, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
minor: If any abbreviation would end up in articles, it should be like "A&PTM(s)" or maybe "A&PT metal(s)" (or "Al&PTs"). If we introduce a descriptive name for the category, we cannot use much more jargon. -DePiep (talk) 09:49, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, agree, try and avoid abbreviations. Doesn't generally make for particularly good writing. Sandbh (talk) 10:33, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Wait, Sandbh, you appear to imply that the article will be titled "poor metals" despite the category being referred to as "Al & PTMs" in the legend. Why? Isn't it better to be consistent? It feels a bit like covering up the term "poor metals". And your arguments for this are based on the poor metal logic, that Al is a little on the tough side but still needs help (Be is like this too, though not needing quite as much help as Al does). And I don't know about you, but "Al & PTMs" just feels weird as a page title, because it breaks so readily into two subarticles, "Al" andd "PTMs", where the close relationship of Al to the PTMs would be discussed in both. Kinda like how I discussed the relationship of H, Tl, and NH+
to the alkali metals in the alkali metal article (for another example see pseudohalogen). Double sharp (talk) 12:34, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh, no! The article would be called Aluminium and the post-transition metals. LOL re Al still needing some help. 'Let me introduce Al, a poor cousin of Be' :) Hey, about the abbreviation in the periodic table legend. I like 'APT metals'. De Piep, I gather you would prefer something longer? You too Double sharp? Anyone else? Sandbh (talk) 21:07, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Something longer eh. What's wrong with Ds's "poor aluminium"? Then there is this word image, reading "Ai, PTMs!" (making us all periodical table dyslectic). Hm.
The legend should be correct & clear, whatever the consequences. It should absolutely link to the exact name, Aluminium and post-transition metals. That page can Redirect (choose any target page; use the #section trick). This also makes a good title (= mousehover text) right away.
Then, first thinking, the visible text must be all "Aluminium and post-transition metals". But maybe we can derive from that. For now, I end up with "Al & post-transition metals". (brings back the plurals in there, for all categories then. Makes good reading. OK with me). Any suggestion for the bad word "Al"? (if & when this thing is stable, I'll put it in a demo). But hey, don't let me distract you. Is the core content discussion done? -DePiep (talk) 15:49, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
"Aluminium and PTMs", maybe, if "Al" is deemed unacceptable? Double sharp (talk) 04:18, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Hey guys, re title. Do whatever you want to (will agree with whatever you think is the best), but since "aluminium and PTMs" is not a very widely known term (albeit easy to understand), and "PTMs" is, I would do the linking the following way: "Aluminium and post-transition metals." They are waaaay better known apart from each other (for now), so this makes more sense to me. In a book, I would write a chapter "Aluminium and PTMs," but I'm afraid this doesn't work that way for Wiki.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:42, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Agree with you on this one. The PTM article would discuss the close relationship of aluminium with them, then. Double sharp (talk) 04:18, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes to both. I am still pondering the language things. We are introducing a new description (an identifier even, or a name if you like). How to be correct and convey what we want to (any taxonomy linguists around)?
Let's restart thinking, from concept. Abbreviations are for simplicity, not proposed.
Step 1: First we see them as two separately defined, independent categories: "Al" and "PTMs" (alike "TMs", and "M'oids").
In the legend, they'd be sequenced left-to-right as appearing in the PT. That would be "PTM, Al" then, not "Al, PTM", as a logical outcome from the legend scheme.
Categories Al, PTMs into the legend: structure & sequence
metals metalloids nonmetals unk
AMs AEMs REMs ANs TMs PTMs Al M'oids DiaNMs PolyaNMs NGs
Sequence by left-to-right appearance. So group 12 makes PTM be to the left of Al.
We do not use the wording "poor metal" at all (except in topical pages & sections).
We use singular & plural s correctly ("Fe is a TM, the TMs are: ...," category: "TMs" --> this will be change in the legends then). No problem that Al is single in there. Page titles are singular (Post-transition metal).
Step 2: Then we merge the two into one category, called "PTMs & Al".
Questions left: legend sequence is PTMs, Al then. Allow flip in prose? What to put in the infobox "Element category:" for Al, for a PTM?
-DePiep (talk) 06:24, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand the concept of linking "Aluminium and post-transition metals". As I understand it, the element colour category would be "aluminium and the post-transition metals", abbreviation e.g. "A & PT metals". The article title would be "aluminium and the post-transition metals". It's a descriptive phrase, in the absence of a commonly used formal or semi-formal title, so obviously it wouldn't be a widely known term---descriptive phrases are like that. So the sequence of metals would go AMs--AEMs--REMs--ANs--TMs--A&PTMs. Am I missing something? Sandbh (talk) 10:00, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, no separate links (didn't know I was typing that when thinking); Please keep it "aluminium and the post-transition metals" (not the upcoming Disney movie); and some were thinking about where the category would be described. And for the sequence: I described how the sequence is when "Al" would have its own category. In that case it would have to be to the right of PTM in the category legend bar. From there, the descriptive name would be "PTMs & Al". That's all. -DePiep (talk) 07:30, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────My first (relatively uneducated) reaction is why are people objecting using the simpler PTM and including Al without mentioning it. After some thought, it occurs to me that the reason is because people are reading PTM as P(TM), that is to say, elements that come after TMs. However, if you read the category name as (PT)M, that is to say, metals that come after a transition, then I think it would be legitimate to include Al in the group. That is to say, the "transition" includes not only the real estate devoted to the TMs but also the gaps between groups 2 and 13 that occur in periods 3 and below. Now, admittedly this is a bit obscure and may not fly. But what if some suitable synonymn could be found for "Transition" that would be viewed as a cover term for the TMs and the gap? Of course, there is always the problem of using an unfamiliar term. But I'm just trying to think outside the box in hopes it might prove helpful or might trigger some more thought. YBG (talk) 16:23, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Maybe post-transition metals have a strict definition that excludes or includes aluminum and/or excludes or includes group 12. Maybe they don't. I don't favor this idea because it seems silly on two accounts. First, it overemphasizes that aluminum can't be categorized according to accepted IUPAC groupings as anything but a metal when, of course, the relevant fact is that what the table currently calls Poor Metals can't be categorized according to accepted IUPAC groupings as anything but a metal. It's an editor-thing, not a reader-thing. Second, it's editorially clunky. Find one, single periodic table anywhere with that label for a color. It would be better to mislabel and or define or redefine Al as a post-transition metal as is done at . Flying Jazz (talk) 19:28, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Count me in favor of replacing "poor metals" with (in order) "post-transition metals", "p-block metals", "aluminium and the post-transition metals". Any of those would be better than "poor metals". (Perhaps chemists use "poor metals", but my Ph.D is in Metallurgy, I've never heard it used.) The only reference on the page in that supports use of "poor metals" says "The term 'poor metals' is not widely used, but it is a useful description for several metals including tin, lead and bismuth."[2]. That is not strong support for use of the term. Re: calling out aluminum for special treatment, I agree with Flying Jazz that this isn't necessary, hence my preference for "post-transition metals", but if strict technical accuracy is required, it's hard to find fault with descriptive if unmelodious "p-block metals".Rcalhoun (talk) 17:09, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
"p-block metals" doesn't quite work if you exclude group 12 from the transition metals. What I find most interesting though is @Axiosaurus:' comment that [we are] confused by the idea of "post-" meaning "after" in "post-transition metals" – if the word is not defined etymologically, then we can use it and include Al and still be correct. (And put a note down to avoid confusing future readers.) Double sharp (talk) 05:30, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
What I actually said was "Post transition was a well defined group of metals (unless of course you get confused by the idea of post being after!)". I meant "Post transition was a well defined group of metals (unless of course one does not understand the meaning of the word post)". I should avoid oblique sarcasm. For your information, the "post transition" label was meant to highlight the differences in the chemistry of the p block metals that could be attributed to the fact they came after the transition metals, e.g. they are subject to d-block contraction that makes e.g. Ga3+ only a little bigger than Al3+. Axiosaurus (talk) 09:05, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
In that case it makes a lot more sense to not classify Al as a post-transition metal, simply because it doesn't come after any transition metals (and isn't subject to d-block contraction, etc.).
I'm beginning to think that the pre-transition metals solution is better (pre-transition = groups 1 and 2 + Al). Al & PTMs could work but isn't really an elegant construction to use in prose. Double sharp (talk) 07:51, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
There is no definition of post-transition metals that I'm aware of. My impression of the literature is that 'post-transition metals' is more often used in the sense that Axiosaurus mentioned i.e. excluding aluminium. P-block metals won't work since element 113, which is a p-block metal, is expected to have some transition metal chemistry.
I agree with Flying Jazz, wherever he said it, that Wikipedia (as an encyclopedia) should be reflective of the literature. I also agree with his comments about it’s an editor thing v it’s a reader thing.
The literature is all over the place with respect to category names for the elements between the transition metals and the metalloids.
Given all of this, I lean towards thinking that the former category name 'other metals'—in the sense of a category of metals, 'Existing besides, or distinct from that already mentioned'; 'auxiliary', 'ancillary, secondary' (quotes from 2nd OED, and Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus entries for 'other')—may be more appropriate, with the 'other metal' article listing all the cited alternative category names. Some readers will still go "WTF are 'other metals'?", however what's going on will become clear upon reading the article, with readers free to choose any of the more specific category names listed therein, for non-Wikipedia use, should they decide that 'other metals' won't cut the mustard. I personally don't think that much of the name 'other metals' but the jumbled category name situation for these metals, as found in the literature, is what it is.
There's an other metal article in my sandbox that includes commentary on the rationale for, and meaning of, the 'other metal' expression. Previously there was no specific article on the other metals, which was part of the problem; now there can be. The only part of the article I haven't updated yet is the scatter plot chart, which still shows the other metals as 'weak main group metals' (an earlier proposed descriptive phrase which I no longer favour).
Re group 12 as transition metals, I'm OK either way. There's a modicum of teaching value in treating them as transition metals and noting their atypical features, rather than treating them as main-group metals and overlooking their transition metal connections. If they remain as transition metals they can still be referred to in the other metals article, with some very careful wording, for comparative purposes.
On group 3 membership, I'm inclined to leave it in its current ambiguous state. The question of La-Ac or Lu-Lr can be discussed in the group 3 article. Sandbh (talk) 12:02, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Return of the other metals

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Close as 'proceed with implementation'. Reasons given for the change from poor metals to other metals remain sound. No substantial objections raised.

@Stone: @R8R Gtrs: @Double sharp: @Sbharris: @Materialscientist: @DePiep: @King jakob c 2: @StringTheory11: @TCO: @Axiosaurus: @AlchemistOfJoy: @Sinrh0816:

I propose calling the metals in groups 13-17 'other metals' rather than (as we do now) 'poor metals', for the reasons I listed just above, with no change to the group 12 TMs. There is a corresponding draft 'other metals' article here, in my sandbox. If interested, could you please indicate your views about this proposal? Personally, I would rather record all of the alternatives in the other metals article, than spend more time on a quest for the snark 'right' category label. Sandbh (talk) 03:56, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

OK with me. I like "other metals" – remaining neutral. Still thinking about group 12; will respond about that soon. Double sharp (talk) 05:30, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Me too. It is time to throw in the towel even though I am disappointed that there isn't a term that is commonly accepted and more descriptive. Listing all of the alternative terms seems a good idea, and the list could also include alternate definitions, that is to say, mention that the list of elements sometimes omits some or includes others. I will say that 'Other Metals' does have one redeeming feature ... at least in the periodic table, as you read from left-to-right, the 'other' category comes at the end. The 'other nonmetals' category that was successfully banished some time ago did not have that advantage. It felt rather clumsy, but that probably is a cultural pre-disposition from years of multiple choice answer sets that ended '(e) none of the above'. I suppose if I lived in some sort of an alternate reality and had been exposed all my life to '(a) none of the below', then I might think rather differently. YBG (talk) 07:17, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I can agree with the proposal (See my follow-up below), given the need-for-compromise in this area (Let's note that this situation is chemistry-born, not Wikpedia-born). I am enthousiastic about the way all alternatives are covered: mention & describe them in the article (now in the sandbox). As YBG describes nicely, there is no square circle solution in this.
I also support the "group 12 unchanged" part, as meaning that the discussion & changes (or not) with regard to group 12 should be kept separate from this proposal. Once this single topic proposal has a stable outcome (implemented, and after-change discussions are concluded), we could revisit the group 12 topic as a separate, independent discussion. Until then, no changes in column 12. -DePiep (talk) 12:03, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Follow-up Sandbh: I have to withdraw my support for now. I want to research this situation (e.g., read related discussions), primarily to see how the flow of arguing passed. I want to check whether there really is no explicit phrase that covers the set of elements ('explicit', as opposed to 'none of the above'-construct proposed). I am aware that the long discussions also involve other topics (group 3, group 12) and non-decisive details (such as word sequence; some of which I myself introduced). These sideways should not matter, I still think the best way to get an outcome its to keep it single-topic (that is, say, get a category name & article name). -DePiep (talk) 14:19, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Sandbh, you put 113 as a transition metal. Are we transitioning back to the IUPAC definition for this? (If so 165 and 166 have to also become transition metals, rather than alkali and alkaline earth metals, and I'm not so sure about that, given that they're still expected to behave as main group elements where d-electrons fill the role of p-electrons. I'll grant that this is not exactly a great objection, largely because these elements have not even been synthesized.) Double sharp (talk) 14:35, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Upon reflection, leave 113 as an other metal until someone synthesizes a compound of it in which it uses its d electrons, such as 113F5. So, yes 165 and 166 = alkali and alkaline earth metals. Discuss categorization possibilities in the applicable article. Sandbox article adjusted accordingly. Sandbh (talk) 12:03, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I got that wrong. The colour for 113 is based on its predicted properties. Therefore, it should show as a predicted transition metal. With 165 and 166 I don't understand why they shouldn't be shown as predicted transition metals, based on the IUPAC concept of a transition metal. Applies even if 165 and 166 largely have a main group chemistries. Same thing happens with silver: predominately main group chemistry yet still categorised as a TM. An out with 165 and 166 would that their capacity to use d electrons in bonding is more speculative or 'may also'-caveated, qualifications which strike me as being a notch or two less than 'predicted' or 'is expected to be'. So you could leave them as A and AE metals on that basis. Sandbh (talk) 03:10, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I did not follow this discussion but honestly, I think it would be quite stupid to call a group of elements as "other" when we have the adequate, NON-AMBIGUOUS qualifier "poor". Nergaal (talk) 23:44, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Agree "poor" is adequate, and NON-AMBIGUOUS. It isn't in common usage however, and neither is anything else. This is quite shabby but that's chemistry for you. "Other", as in 'Existing besides, or distinct from, that already mentioned'; 'auxiliary', 'ancillary, secondary', provides a suitably generic yet meaningfully appropriate label under which the associated article can list all of the alternative names found in the literature for these forgotten metals, including e.g. b-subgroup metals; junior metals (my favourite); poor metals; post-transition metals; p-block metals; polyvalent non-transition metals etc. In RL, individual authors and teachers can choose their pet name; Wikipedia should simply reflect the—shambolic in this case—state of the literature. This represents the culmination of the poor metals thread-saga and is what I've tried to do in my sandbox. I also intend to add a note to the 'poor metals' i.e. 'other metals' talk page, re-iterating the rationale for the (currently proposed) change. Sandbh (talk) 12:29, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

A hopefully engaging postscript. The DK Visual Encyclopedia of Science (1998) has a periodic table (pp. 36−37). It shows, among other categories, transition metals, poor metals, and semimetals. The transition metals are described as 'typical metals' (p. 42). The poor metals, 'are softer and weaker than other metals, [italics added] and melt more easily. Despite their name, they are very useful, especially in making alloys' (p. 41). That's misleading, I thought: many of the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals are softer, weaker and melt more easily than the poor metals. I read on. After the book summarized the transition metals (including inner TMs), the poor metals, and the semimetals, I arrived at a section called 'Other metals' (pp. 44−45). And this is where the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals are discussed! I'm not bagging the book; I just found its uses of the expression 'other metals' to be intellectually amusing. User talk:Sandbh 06:33, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Scerri about group 3

About Scerri figures 5, 6 (not proposed here). How is the group 3 exactly defined for those? Same column as top figure 4, with Sc/Y out of group 3 then? This comes into play when we create a PT illustrating thoese non-chosen options. -DePiep (talk) 15:55, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

no 5: I don't know. I suspect it would follow the suit for no 4 (it goes 1 2 <14 unnumbered columns"> 3 4 5 ...) I've never seen them. On reading this, I got the impression Scerri invented it for the very narrative.
no 6: Sc-Y-La-Ac. (1 2 3 <14 unnumbered columns"> 4 5 ...)
But should we really have these PTs too?--R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:49, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, not exactly Scerri inventing it, but maybe he had to recreate the 32-column PT from an 18-column one. That 18-column PT then showed Sc/Y/La/Ac in one column, had a continuous, glued group 2-3-4 (no gap), and below were the 14 remaining columns. To make something out of that... These are still quite common (google). We can't blame Eric Scerri for the ambivalence built in into those 18-columns.(Remind me to I tell you some time that I don't like such 18-column PTs, for this ambivalence reason). I heard a gossip that the enwiki will get rid of them shortly. -DePiep (talk) 20:03, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Do we need them? I thought we are supposed to describe & illustrate them in topical sections, in a projected group 3 element#alternative definitions. A bit like Janet's left step is in Periodic table#alternative forms. -DePiep (talk) 20:03, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
I dunno, I've never seen an 18-column PT that implies Scerri's figure 5 (that would be Sc/Y/La/Ac with the asterisks before group 3). I think his mentioning it is based on his argument: he assumes that the blocks need to be kept together, and so the only way you can keep the d-block together with Sc/Y/La/Ac is this ludicrous periodic table where the atomic numbers don't increase in an orderly fashion. I don't see how this argument is valid: we all break the s-block anyway the moment we place He with the noble gases, so why can't we break the d-block into group 3 and groups 4–12? Not that I think Sc/Y/La/Ac is a good idea; I just think that it is not so easily refuted.
Now, mention the Sc/Y/La/Ac (figure 6) and Sc/Y/Lu/Lr (figure 4) difference, certainly. I just think we should not show his figure 5, because nobody uses it. Double sharp (talk) 04:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
"that would be Sc/Y/La/Ac with the asterisks before group 3" -- or no asterisks at all. Leaving it to the reader to figure it out (with those ambiguous outcomes). Also, these badly formed tables tend to leave out the group numbers. From google's images, and [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] Berkeley and Seaborg compromised?. Just to illustrate: badly formed 18-column PTs. Out with them, all of them.
But no Scerri figure 5 then as it is obscure, including his reasoning the reasoning it represents. -DePiep (talk) 07:08, 15 December 2013 (UTC) m, struck -DePiep (talk) 05:29, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Excuse the intrusion but I am still very interested in the group 3 question. I see a good deal of discussion concerning my view on this above but am having trouble understanding whether you have a genuine objection to what I have proposed or whether it is a matter of representation and whether to display a 32-column table on Wiki pages. Please, by all means get in touch with me directly by E-mail if you would like to discuss this further. signed, Eric Scerri — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Eric, past threads are here: 28 nov 2008; 1 oct 2013; 28 nov 2013 Sandbh (talk) 22:01, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
You're intrusion is welcome, mr Scerri. Now it's just that the discussion has taken a rest for some months. (I myself have been made shy for a while, since recently a Wikipedia process decided that period 1 element is the better name over period 1 -- accompanied by accusations of me being dishonest and writing lies).
Surely and luckily there is no conclusion against your proposal being: group 3 = Sc, Y, Lu, and Lr. I for myself think it is the best representation (though I lack scientific background for all the details; I'm reading & learning here).
We can very well decide on a preferred group 3 definition for our PT's. Variant options could be and should be described best in a Group 3 element section. Just as variant classifications ("groupings") are described in metalloids and other metals. This way of describing PT issues only since a few months here. And already we all know this from the positioning of H: make a choice, describe the alternatives.
Once group 3 is decided in a 32-column PT, the 18-column PT can be derived. Today the problem is that most 18-column layouts hide or obfuscate the group 3 issue. That evades the choice, conveniently! This is a force against change (against choose & clarify), showing up in various reasonings. The problem comes in the open when re-creating a 32-column from that one. It is like assembling an IKEA cupboard.
So in my opinion these are the nuts to be cracked. I'll pick it up when the ship with inspiration has arrived. -DePiep (talk) 09:53, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
As noted earlier, on the 18-column PT: I propose a graphical gap column between groups 2 and 3 to cast in concrete the fact that one can not squeeze 14 or 15 elements in one cell (below Sc/Y). I learned from Mendeleev in this; Seaborg is pictured compromised but knows more that we do. Once the 18-column PT has that gap, no discussion is left. -DePiep (talk) 18:22, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Legend color of rare earth metals

The proposal includes using the element category "rare earth metal" (REM) in our common PTs. This category being used is new in the PT. We need to pick a color for the REM categorization. At the same time, the Lanthanides (Ln) category would go from the generic PT ("Lanthanide" as such will not appear in out general PTs). The current Ln color is   #ffbfff.

REM in color as proposed

Sandbox table (version correct as of 2013-12-15):

Rare earth metals in the periodic table (proposal)
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson
  • The proposed color for the REMs is   #ffbffe. The final digit is differs one with the Ln pink (e vs. f), invisible to the eye.
Earlier talks
Group_3_in_periodic_table, or search for: About re-using the lanthanide (pink) bg color for REM -- 14:00, 8 October 2013.

I will repeat the background here. -DePiep (talk) 19:47, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Requirements for legend background colors
  1. the color must be a background color, giving enough contrast with text color for legibility (WP:ACCESS, w3c access). This contrast can be calculated into a quality level. In the PT, the text color can be black/red/green/grey (atomic number indicating the State of matter). In general the background should be light.
  2. The background should be discernable in the range used. That is, it should differ from other colors used (the reader must find the connection cell color<-->legend without mistake).
  3. The colors should allow for lighter shades for a "predicted" elements property.
  • Current problems with colors
  1. Of the 11 colors, five are red. There is no new red available that shows different (already the "alkali metal (predicted) color", a dirty red, is a out of regularity construction).
  2. Some colors are too dark for contrast with the text: AM red, PM (aka PTM) grey, Metalloids brown.
  3. Greys are used for a category (PM/PTM), for "Unknown", and for table structure (like title background). This an overload of uses.

In short, there is no color readily available any more. Sure the reds are depleted (where the REMs are). Any green/yellow/blue would be close to other colors. To get a good legend, the whole palette must be redesigned, starting from W3C accessibility and PT structure. That is not a sinecure. It takes time & good thinking. This process is projected to start next year.
For this reason, we choose to defer picking a new color for REM. Picking a new color now, like some green or blue, would be temporal while shaking the view for these months (?). Also, 15/17 REM elements are the before-pink lanthanides; Only Sc and Y change color. So keeping the pink is in tune with the minor change in the PT, it is following. After the proposed change, there is time to build the new color scheme.
Some notes. The lanthanides, and "their" pink legend definition, will disappear from our common PTs completely. The color will have only one category associated: REM, wiki-wide.Technically, the REM has a color number that differs one (final hex "f" to "e"). This is not visible for the eye, but helps identifying which cells are transformed to the new REM color. -DePiep (talk) 20:20, 15 December 2013 (UTC)


Let me test my understanding of the issues, by describing some consequences.

Earlier discussions on this: (2013, archive, Make the group 12 elements poor metals? (archive) and On the question of group 3
See also the proposal's 32-column periodic table (archive).
  • Cn in group 12 will be marked "unknown chemical properties" in a regular PT (a change). When periods 8-9-10 are shown, in an extended PT, Cn takes the grouping of "transition metal metal (predicted)".
  • Articles Rare earth metal, Poor metal, Group 3 elements, Group 12 elements, ..., must contain the encyclopedic definitions of terms used here.
  • Astatine a poor metal? What is the conclusion in #Astatine and element 117 above? I don't think there will be another 200 page&image edit just two weeks later.
    • Astatine and element 117 should stay as metalloids. Fricke's statement that oxyanions would still be readily formed for element 117, perhaps even going to an unstable +7 state, is good enough for me to call it a metalloid. As for astatine, I submit that its chemistry is still within metalloid territory. Double sharp (talk) 12:14, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
So no changes here, fine with me. Please close that thread, and maybe adjust article texts. -DePiep (talk) 10:00, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
  • It is a presentation decision only, but a nice one. The proposals do not decide in scientific debates. They decide on which primary presentation we follow. Using "REM" for the PTs does not state that there exist no lanthanides, nor do we make a decision on which elements are the REMs. We only choose to color the REMs not the lanthanides. Now, while we are free to choose a presentation form, we will apply a choice consistently over all articles and PTs, in wordings and graphics.
  • In-topic, everything goes. To be clear, in-topic texts and PTs can have any coloring & description needed to illustrate and describe whatever needed. See for example metalloid border issue markings. So while not present in our PTs & legends, all can be described (including scientific positions) in topical places: lanthanide, post-transition metal, f-block, base metal, ... .
  • Group 3 is glued to group 4, leaving a gap with group 2 in periods 4, 5 (=the f-block position in group 6, 7). This is different from the dewiki presentation, see de:Lanthanide. There shall be no suggestion that "group 3" would include the (usually unnumbered) f-block columns. See also about the Gap, below.
All very well argumented by Eric Scerri (argument A6, above). Deserves a section in group 3 element. -DePiep (talk) 10:00, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The word lanthanide disappears from our ubiquitous PTs (demos below). We do not do secondary group names (as we also do not mark Post-transition metals as such). The categorization is one-dimensional. If this discussion would lead to use some mixed categories/groups (coloring or marking), it would have to be a superposition on this categorization. In other words, these proposals reduce the need for multi-colors by logic of the chosen categories; while any future needs for mixing share not forbidden (but will require arguments).
Warning: "Lanthanide(s)" also disappears from infoboxes text & mousehover titles like from {{infobox cerium}}. Reader's shock response team needed.
Actinide: same. Also, the word "actinide(s)" will be removed from inside PTs. It is just for presentations reason (it could be factually correct to mention it). It's just we do not name categories within the PT at all.
To be clear: "Actinide" will be still mentioned & linked in the legend (not "Lanthanide). -DePiep (talk) 10:08, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The REM color: new REM color is postponed. For the introduced REM category should be different from old lanthanide pink. Because the category is defined differently, the color must be different. But, for practical reasons, this new color is postponed. (A new color should fit in the whole scheme, which occupies a lot of red-tinted colors already. At the moment, REM is numbered off by just 1 (=invisibly), to show conversion technically: #ffbffF=Ln versus #ffbffE=REM). Bad: this will leave a confusion for the reader with old lanthanide color meaning. Even worse, the page lanthanide will use the confusing color (ideally, lanthanides should use a secondary marking, not a primary category-color). If editors think this confusion is too serious to have existing, please say so. REMs could be   some green in the future.
    • I don't think it's that much of an issue because there would be a legend below clearly showing that the pink colour now means REMs. I think we should reconsider our entire colour scheme (too many reds!), but IMO we should do it all at once, and not change it one colour at a time. Double sharp (talk) 12:14, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
We'll use   #ffbffe for rare earth metal(s). -DePiep (talk) 10:00, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
No, we won't. If even we choose to have REM (which would be a fatal error and should never happen), we shouldn't use pink again (but again, the should be no need for that.) (we can actually discuss this, just don't say "we'll use." before a discussion occurs)-R8R Gtrs (talk) 18:52, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually this is just stating the outcome of a discussion already. It implies too that on enwiki pink-for-lanthanides will be deprecated and removed. Actual introduction of REM is to be discussed elsewhere, not here in "consequences". -DePiep (talk) 09:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Where did the discussion take place? Could you add a link for that decision here?--R8R Gtrs (talk) 09:11, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, will open a thread in Discuss section to clear things up. -DePiep (talk) 09:38, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The 18-column periodic table. In the 18-column PT two sets of elements are repositioned below the PT. These are the f-block with or without Lu, Lr (group 3, from the d-block). There is no major logical rule that defines whether Lu, Lr should be positioned above (in PT) or below (repositioned).
Still, there are consequences from a choice.
When Lu is above in the PT (not below), the set below can not be called "lanthanides", because that would be factually wrong (or require extreme detailing). Similar for Lr and actinides. There only would be an asterisk-marking.
  • A gap, and no squeezing. When the f-block is present, there must be a gap between group 2 and group 3. This is irrespective on whether Lu, Lr are above or below. Because without a gap, the squeezing back in of the block would be ambiguous at best (These 14 or 15 elements all go into one cell? Group 3 stays with group 2 or with group 4? Or is group 3 spanning 15 elements?). In this too, we should be consistent over all PTs. For example, the gap will be present in this PT. My preference is: Lu and Lr above, because it makes it easier to imagine where the below-block should go. See below. -DePiep (talk) 10:10, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Also support having Lu and Lr above. Double sharp (talk) 12:14, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
... and thereby accepting the gap. -DePiep (talk) 10:00, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Mind the gap

This is a detailing of #Consequences in 18-column periodic table, I described above. -DePiep (talk) 10:10, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

  • PTs below should show regular cells (no text mess up or so).
  • These are simplified talk-PTs. In articles, the PTs don't have lines. Later: position of * / ** bars (left-right) and gap width; layout can be done after structure outcome.
  • Recap:
Word "Lanthanides" removed because possibly wrong (when Lu is above), and we don't mention category in PTs at all
Word "Actinides" removed because we don't mention these groupings within the PT.
Gap is needed to unambiguously show how & where the below-block should go.
If we go ahead, I still (currently) like the NS periodic table (see p.4/39). Reasons: (a) no gap; (b) La and Ac still line up under group 3 (c) there is no column number for the 57-70 and 89-102 boxes, which is IUPAC consistent; (d) the 'quasi-gap' between Ca-Sc and Sr-Y is a natural one; (e) the overall layout, to my eye, is engaging; and (f) it seems to incorporate good features of most options. Does anybody else think much of this layout? Is it feasible? Sandbh (talk) 10:03, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I can agree. (I can call this a "gap" too for not gluing group 3 to group 2). The numbering like 75–70 is a better association than just asterisks. I guess you expect these two boxes be category colored. Little space in compact PTs, may become a wider column then, is acceptable to me. One addition: I'll do a demo with the asterisks in there too, because the below-block should have some associating handle. -DePiep (talk) 13:31, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
First demos: we already have this in {{Periodic table (large version)}}. After vote it will look like {{Periodic table (large version)/sandbox}}. -DePiep (talk) 19:26, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
In the second demo, could the 57-70 box and the 89-102 box etc have the same width as the rest of the columns? Sandbh (talk) 11:10, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
{{ec}}More recent demo's below at #Range numbers in the gap. (re the ec: cell size to be discussed below too) -DePiep (talk) 11:36, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I like it also. It might be instructive also to have an even more (horizontally) compact table that pulled out the transition metals in the same way. And you could go the whole hog and pull the p-block out, so that you have a 2-column s-block table with a 6-column p-block insert below it, a 10-column d-block insert below that and a 14-column f-block below that. Not very useful (in fact very impractical), but if it could be animated to show the continuum from a fully-dropped-down PT to the totally-wide PT, in might be very pretty indeed.
Another thing @Sandbh: - what does NS stand for in "NS Periodic table?
And while we're at it, the article cited above is titled 'unsung elements'. We already have had a discussion of base metals, so it is only natural to suggest expanding the categorization to include Sopranos, Altos and Tenors? Of course, we will no doubt get into a multi-month, multi-megabyte discussion about what to do with those pesky Baritones! YBG (talk) 15:10, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
"New Scientist", I think. Nice puns! Double sharp (talk) 16:18, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Most baritones are simply post-sopranos, but there are those baritonoïds and even confusing polysonic basses or inert altos. -DePiep (talk) 19:48, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Lu, Lr above or below: undecided (my preference: above, stronger structure by color recognition ie, easier to imagine the block being in above).
current: NO GAP 18-col Periodic table base: PT 18-col
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11-18
1 H Red XN
2 Li Be
3 Na Mg
4 K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni
5 Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd
6 Cs Ba * Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt
7 Fr Ra ** Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds
Lanthinides  * La 58–69 12x Yb Lu
Actinides  ** Ac 90–101 12x No Lr
GAP, Lu Lr below (sandbox)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11-18
1 H Green tickY
2 Li Be
3 Na Mg
4 K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni
5 Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd
6 Cs Ba * Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt
7 Fr Ra ** Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds
* La 58–69 12x Yb Lu
** Ac 90–101 12x No Lr
GAP, Lu Lr above
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11-18
1 H Green tickY
2 Li Be
3 Na Mg
4 K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni
5 Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd
6 Cs Ba * Lu Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt
7 Fr Ra ** Lr Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds
* La 58–69 12x Yb
** Ac 90–101 12x No

Added demo
Range numbers in the gap

As suggested by Sandbh 10:03 4 Dec, above.

RANGE NUMBERS in the GAP, Lu Lr above
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11-18
1 H Green tickY
2 Li Be
3 Na Mg
4 K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni
5 Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd
6 Cs Ba 57–70 Lu Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt
7 Fr Ra 89–102 Lr Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds
57–70 La 58–69 12x Yb
89–102 Ac 90–101 12x No
This is just a talkpage-simplified scheme, with essence only. Undecided yet: the range-boxes could be colored or uncolored.
Please discuss this below in the thread, not right here. -DePiep (talk) 11:36, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Discuss graphical issues

As I stated in 2006 at, I would be against elements in the footnote and in the bulk of the table having the same color as a purely editorial matter. Using an asterisk and double-asterisk as typographical devices directing the reader to footnotes has historically meant that material within the footnotes is very unique and distinct from what occurs above. In the case of the periodic table, the chemical reality of course is that this aint so. Elements is elements and the long table is best. But for the 18-column table, the general-purpose reader of Wikipedia is best served (at least for now) by continuing to maintain historical editorial conventions. If Wikipedia chose for some reason to color the d-block separately from the f-block in its standard 18-column table (which I don't recommend), then I would be in favor of delivering Lu and Lr up out of the footnote and nicely placing them below Sc and Y as Scerri has done. If IUPAC does follow the lead of Scerri and others to take a definitive stand on exactly what constitutes a Group 3 element, then the international consensus would trump editorial conventions, and color-sharing between the footnote and the bulk would be required. Until then, I favor the current version. I also do not recommend adding a red X to the table. Red Xs are bad. Flying Jazz (talk) 06:14, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

If it ain't so, why force it? Is it just because of our colour scheme? Sc and Y have closer links to the lanthanides than to their neighbours the transition metals, so in any case there'd be colour mixing (rare earth metals). In the periodic table, the asterisks were always just for convenience, pulling out the f-block for a nicer aspect ratio. Lu is also not so very different from Hf (both behave quite d-block-element-like, similarly to Y and Zr), as is La from Ba (La has close ties to the main group elements). Double sharp (talk) 08:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
This is and was merely an editorial preference and opinion about color schemes and footnotes that do or do not match. None of the decisions being considered about this matter would be particularly mockable or fun if they're implemented correctly. So it's not as if the editors here were overemphasizing a little-used, historically-ambiguous, and unsound element category. If the editors here do decide to spatially separate the f-block from the d-block without further textual explanation in the layout beyond an asterisk or two then a reader may form the opinion that some elements of the same color belong in one location while other elements of that color belong in another place. If that's what's best for the reader, have at it. Flying Jazz (talk) 13:03, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Why yes, they do: La–Yb belong in the f-block and Lu belongs in the d-block. Isn't that correct? Then of course they belong in a different place in the table, right? So is your argument just "the lanthanides should be kept together because we colour them as a category"? Doesn't look like a very strong argument to me, certainly not strong enough to override more pertinent physical and chemical concerns.
And yes, I see what you did there with your little-supported, historically-on-Wikipedia-found-invalid, and completely uncalled for unsound scornful reference to "poor metals" as a category. Double sharp (talk) 10:25, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
re Flying Jazz: None of the decisions [...] would be particularly mockable or fun if they're implemented correctly. Nonsense argument. "Fun" does not define correctness/incorrectness. Unscientific arguing. -DePiep (talk) 11:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
re Flying Jazz: overemphasizing a little-used, historically-ambiguous, and unsound element category. Off-topic, distracting. This section is about how to implement the Vote-proposals A and B in an 18-column table. Easy self check: if an argument also applies to a 32-column PT, is does not belong in this section. -DePiep (talk) 12:19, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
re Flying Jazz. ::Unfortunately, the links in the 2006 link (IUPAC) appear dead by now.
The asterisk–footnote association you mention I find not to the point in this situation. The "footnote" you describe is used in print with inline text, and then also for mere details and references. However, in a table an asterisk is commonly used as marker/legend/key, together with other typographic symbols. Both in print and digitally. Same for the specific periodic tabel. And being digital, we could also add a hyperlink to the asterisk(s) to anything useful, though that doesn't seem useful in the PT situation. Used as it is current way in a PT, the asterisks nicely associate their PT-position with an element set below (that we mention 'footnote' sometimes for lack of a better word). I do not see how that would be confusing or misleading. Al together, in that historical usage of the asterisk I find no argument to limit our PT to just that usage and meaning.
Historical editorial conventions for the 18-column table do not occur uniform to me. Given that it is an editorial freedom (just as long as the facts are represented correctly), the argument of history I give little weight, because it does not solve the question. -DePiep (talk) 12:52, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
And yes, if IUPAC would ... then we'll have to revisit this PT. Today, that is not the case.
I fully agree that first and foremost we should use the 32-column periodic table. Only when forced by circumstances we hesitantly look at an 18-column one. -DePiep (talk) 12:52, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
The range numbers seem a bit bulky to me, drawing far too much attention to the gap. Whereas to my mind, the asterisks make the gap obvious and obviously important but not too large and obtrusive. Double sharp (talk) 14:58, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Please refer to the sandboxes. The demos here on this page are just content examples (with structure), not a typographical presentation at all. And to reduce that attention, we can consider de-coloring those two range boxes. Also, there is room & argument to use both asterisk & range (note that we do not use an "18-column compact PT" now -- we do, see group names (sandbox)). -DePiep (talk) 18:47, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Now I see what you mean. They make a big outstanding block (two) that is not even en element. Not coloring them stays an option. -DePiep (talk) 20:15, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Note: I created bigger asterisks in the sandboxes (sizeable), not those inline-superscripts any more. -DePiep (talk) 18:47, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Sandbh asked "could the 57-70 box and the 89-102 box etc have the same width as the rest of the columns?". See the actual linked sandboxes, they are equal (in my screen). -DePiep (talk) 18:47, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Boxes on the medium-long version look equal width to me. The 89-102 numbers look like they encroach onto the left and right boundaries of the box. Would it be possible to use a smaller font size? Also, I know this is only proof of concept but could the box borders also be made the same as all the other box borders? Sandbh (talk) 01:58, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
A border (any border) would make it look more like a single element box, not 14. (For this, some extra cell width would good too). Exactly that is what I want to prevent at all costs, because it is one of the PT basics (one cell - one element). It also prevents the question: which border? These 14 have mixed occurrences, and a "neutral" border is difficult/is what we have. - DePiep (talk) 06:03, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
In this layout, all-columns-equal-width, no text will overflow cell border, ever (would be bad browser/erroneous). The setting enforces long text to continue under the next cell. (In my screen I see a small example in the hyphen of Lawren-cium, 103). So, the range should not show border crossing. And since we do have a 1px border, there is no overflow. So I conclude/suggest: since no text overflows, we don't need to go to a smaller fontsize. -DePiep (talk) 06:03, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Webelements mainly shows block colors (isn't that a bit like cheating on us?), categories not even mentioned (?). They do use a gap. This is how they do the asterisks: [9]. Note the Lu Lr / Ln An error. -DePiep (talk) 08:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Heads up

I took a look at Amazons periodic table posters. It sure looks like we're gonna make waves with that gap: most or all have groups 2-3-4 glued in various ways (leaving the group 3-situation obscure and ambiguous). In general, they are variants all over. This is what Scerri and we are up to. (A nice way to put ourselves in one line with Scerri ;-) ). -DePiep (talk) 08:07, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Graphical issues

PT image, demo (375px wide as in page Periodic table)

Note: in the svg image, there is no space for range numbers (like 57–70) (now in demo to check this -DePiep (talk) 14:58, 9 January 2014 (UTC)). I choose to remove the gap coloring, because it makes distracting attention (Double sharp) and that it is not an element cell at all (I say). Where to position the cells below, horizontally? -DePiep (talk) 08:40, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Would personally say to have La and Ac line up under group 3, because it nicely shows the actinide pseudohomologues of the early transition metal groups. (It also looks neat and symmetrical.) Double sharp (talk) 02:22, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, agree. Personally, I would remove the six asterisks and reinstate the gap colouring but not put borders around the gap colour boxes. Sandbh (talk) 03:18, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, La and Ac should be above, good structural clarification as Ds says. I add (pet topic) that it leaves even less confusion on where the below-block should go.
The asterisks I'd prefer to keep for the structural and educational purposes. The gap position is not an element, while colors would atrract double attention for their irregularity. Also, keeping them gives a not to be misunderstood solution on where the below-block should go. The longer I work with PTs here, the stranger I find it that this mental 18-to-32-column transformation was overlooked so long.
Were there width, we sure should add the range numbers too (like 57–70) in the gap, because it is very clarifying to the row-reading reader (that is in detail; the asterisks work for the glances). But as we use it today, the image only may use half a page width. So, no changes from me. -DePiep (talk) 17:32, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Might there be room enough to put 57-70 and 89-102, using hyphens and not em dashes? Oh, and in a smaller font? Sandbh (talk) 22:38, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Thought about that. Note that we use this image in primarily thePeriodic table lede, at 375px width (about half a page width, with me). That is about the max width or over it, for good page layout. So, if we use smaller font the default size is not enough. That was my background reasoning. Widening the gap for these numbers I disapprove because it pulls attention to the void (as mentioned earlier). As we know omitting the numbers does not make the PT wrong.
Come time, I'll change the demo as asked, to prove my point ;-). -DePiep (talk) 08:26, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Numbers in the gap added to demonstrate (request by sandbh). The demo is labeled "2013-12-30". Notes:
This image is used in width 375px in top of Periodic table, which is a maximum for page layout reason. One should not assume a larger picture to prove legiblity.
The gap range still is uncolored.
Other issues from this discussion (like poor metal colors). -DePiep (talk) 14:58, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

R8R: We should probably keep lanthanides

(actually empty for now, but I will fill in this section sometime soon. Saving to show I intend to, to you and myself. Also have an IP to talk about nonmetals with)--R8R Gtrs (talk) 22:13, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

R8R here. Over time, I did some considerations and I don't think REE is a horrible idea; still, I would like lanthanides better. Before giving my thoughts, let's analyze Sandbh's arguments.

1.'Rare earth metals' is an officially recognised IUPAC collective name for Sc, Y and the lanthanides.

As is "lanthanides" (okay, "lanthanoids," it doesn't seem to matter)
Agree. My argument here was only to note that in terms of IUPAC officially approved terms, rare earth metals had equal weight. Ditto chalcogens, pnictogens etc. Sandbh (talk) 02:10, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

2. A failing of the IUPAC definition of a transition element ('An element whose atom has an incomplete d sub-shell, or which can give rise to cations with an incomplete d sub-shell.') is that La, Gd, and Lu should all be counted as transition metals. However they are instead routinely recognised as lanthanides or rare earths, on the basis of their common properties. Same thing happens with Ac, Th, Pa, U, Np and Cm. They meet the IUPAC definition of TMs but are instead recognised as actinides, again on the basis of common properties.

This one, I don't get. How does it say REE is a better (or worse) idea?
Oh, that one was to just say that if Sc and Y were coloured as rare earth metals there would be no particular IUPAC-transgression given the current state of affairs, as described above. REE would result in a cleaner outcome, more reflective of the actual characteristics of the elements involved. Related to arguments 3, 4, 5 and 6.

3. A majority of UK-based chemistry syllabi according to Jim Clark of, don't treat Sc and Y as transition metals because they don't form transition metal ions (i.e. those having incompletely filled d orbitals).

That, while being a questionable argument, is true. But why care only UK (I ask about using this as a pro-REE argument)? What about the rest of the world? I believe Jim did no calculations, and tells everything from his experience. (I still believe it's true anyway.) But from my experience (Google Books and stuff), I can tell the opposite thing (for real). Not sure which books I encounter most often. I guess, American ones. Whatever. Again. I can tell most books I've seen (which is not a geographically bounded view) do treat Sc and Y as TMs. Does it annul this argument?
Yes, it wasn't my intention to ignore the rest of the world. The line about the majority of UK-based syllabi was more of an observation adding weight to the argument. As per your experience, most books I’ve seen, most of which would be American, count Sc and Y as transition metals. Largely, this is because these authors rely on the single (physics-based) differentiating electron argument at the expense of stronger chemistry-based considerations (which is odd, given most of the authors in question are chemists). So, no, I reckon that the 'most books observation' doesn't annul argument #3 or, expressed another way, 'Never mind the width, feel the quality'.
Cotton & Wilkinson, the American standard according to Jensen, lean towards Sc and Y as rare earth elements. I say 'lean' as they first describe Sc and Y as 'main transition group or d bock elements' and then treat them in their chapter on 'The group 3 elements and the lanthanides' for the reason that 'the properties of Y are extremely similar to, and those of Sc mainly like, those of the lanthanide elements proper, and quite different [italics added] from those of the regular d-block elements.' They also comment that since 'both La and Lu have partially filled d shells…it might be argued that both of these should be considered d-block elements. However, for chemical reasons, it would be unwise to classify them in this way, since all the 15 elements La…Lu have very similar chemical and physical properties…' It's interesting that they say an argument could be made for treating La and Lu as d-block elements (which they are, strictly speaking) but that this would be 'unwise’ for chemo-physical reasons. Same argument applies to, as I see it, treating Sc and Y as rare earths rather than transition metals.
Wiberg, the German standard (again according to Jensen), treats the Group 3 elements as transition metals but notes in respect of their limited capacity to exhibit formal oxidation states < +3, that they are not typical [their italics, not mine] transition elements.
I don't know what the Russian standard is.
Overall, the strength of sources that don't classify group 3 elements as transition metals is stronger than those that do. Sandbh (talk) 00:47, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

4. References that treat Sc and Y as transition metals usually include words to the effect that, or which imply that, the group 3 metals are "atypical" TMs as they demonstrate very few TM properties. Often the group 3 metals are included in the chapter or section dealing with the lanthanides or rare earths, on account of their related properties.

Re Sc&Y are TMs. Not sure if "usually" is the word, but this does occur, at least often. True.
Re together w/ group 3. Also true.

5. By colouring Sc, Y and the lanthanides as rare earth metals we sidestep the 'are-group-3-elements-TMs-or-not debate', and associated differences in periodic table representations, whilst remaining IUPAC observant. The debate can be noted, for example, in the group 3 article (e.g. in terms of the differentiating electron, they could be regarded as TMs however in terms of their overall properties they are closer to the lanthanides). We also avoid the need for mixed categories.

No, we don't. There's no way to drop the debate, except for the cowardly misinterpretable stripes (sadly). In this case, we switch to the "group 3 is not TMs" view. Seriously, if I weren't familiar with these discussions and stuff, and saw this for the first time, I would go complain on the talkpage of... well, anything. Also see below. By the way (don't consider this an argument, just an observation), the debate has never been so hot here in Wiki as the "La/Lu/both is a lanthanide" debate. Maybe because people are satisfied with things the way they are today. (OTOH, maybe just fewer people care. I don't know.)
I had in mind side-stepping the debate about whether they were or weren't TMs by colouring them as rare earth metals, thereby side-stepping the singular differentiating electron argument and focusing instead on more informative and chemistry-meaningful shared properties. Sandbh (talk) 11:55, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I think the La/Lu/lanthanide debate is hotter because it's immediately obvious from periodic tables. You don't see the group-3-as-transition-metals debate quite as often because not all tables have element category colouring. Double sharp (talk) 16:08, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

6. Most of the rare earth metals are not particularly rare however deposits that are large and concentrated enough to be worth mining are rare, hence the continuing relevance of the name. The near-ubiquity of the rare earth metals in modern technology, combined with supply concerns, has also raised popular interest in this previously lesser known category of metals. Related quotes: 1. 'Basic rare-earth science has not been a focus of most U.S. research centers for quite a long time, "but suddenly it has come roaring back…"; 2. 'The rare earths are very much…of strategic importance to the defense industry…'; 3. 'During the past twenty years there has been an explosion in demand for many items that require rare earth metals…global demand for automobiles, consumer electronics, energy efficient lighting and catalysts is expected to rise rapidly in the future. Rare earth elements are heavily used in all of these industries and their use is expected to rise.'

Okay, REE is an industry term, but we're talking about chemistry here (which are different things for Wiki: you can write "aluminum" when writing about industry, but not about chemistry, in which case you have to spell it "aluminium" even if you write in AmE.) We're discussing chemistry. Industry can have REE whatever the outcome. (if that isn't an answer to what you wrote, then I don't understand the relevance of this to the discussion.)
I was attempting to demonstrate the continuing relevance of the meaning of the name, and its cross-over into more general use within industry, mining and stock markets. I agree and disagree that our periodic table is just about chemistry. Agree in that, in chemistry terms, Sc and Y are more like rare earths than transition metals. Disagree in that chemistry is also about applied chemistry and it is here that the rare earths have a stronger profile (or at least that is my impression). Sandbh (talk) 09:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

So if we color Sc and Y same color as lanthanides, then what?

1. We'll lose the lanthanides--actinides parallel. It's definitely not the end of the world, but I'd love to notice my brain would try to (it always does when I think about this issue) build one at the expense of group 4, and that is distracting. (Maybe it's just me, so don't consider this as an argument.)

2. We will make group 3 look like not being TM, which is a wrong thing to do, because it's not what most people expect to see (I think, see above.) Also some thoughts about how we color cells today in that region:

  • It doesn't come naturally why Y is a TM and Lu isn't.
  • Given this and the fact Lu has to be (in current paradigm) be a lanthanide, so in my head it's like "We would color you as a TM, little Lu, but you're also cursed to be a lanthanide, and thus entitled to ruin the TM set structure. It's clear just from the table you're a TM anyway, because Y is, and there's no reason you wouldn't be, except for the lanthanide curse."
  • That is bad and unclear, but there are no better options (I can't come up with one (given ambiguous stripes are bad). Anyone?).
  • (However, if we color Sc and Y as REE, the brain would have no clue they're also TMs. Al least mine wouldn't.)

(I had some more thoughts in my mind. I'll let you know if I recall those. Also, thanks for your patience.)

In short: I believe the pro-REE arguments, while mostly having a point, do not outweigh the counter-REE (pro-lanthanides) arguments, and it is thus better to keep lanthanides.--R8R Gtrs (talk) 00:21, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm thinking ahead before having completed all of my responses to your other comments above.
  1. If we keep the lanthanides then we colour Sc, Y, Lu and Lr as TMs?
  2. If 2 is OK, then we could include Lu and Lr with the lanthanides and the actinides in their respective articles, but still show them coloured as TMs?
  3. If Lr turns out to have a p differentiating electron rather than a d differentiating electron then we treat Lr as a TM with an anomalous electronic configuration, in the same way that La is treated as a lanthanide with an anomalous electronic configuration? Sandbh (talk) 11:08, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
On 3, your friendly superheavy-element-obsessed-editor (me) says yes.
If we're going to colour Sc and Y as TMs (honestly I'm thinking now that it is the best idea, because it is what many will expect to see; although they are atypical chemically they do share the physical properties and have a much stronger claim that group 12), it would make sense to colour Lu and Lr so as well. Although their relationship with the lanthanide and actinide series is also important. I need some time to think about this... Double sharp (talk) 16:08, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
@DePiep, Double sharp, and R8R Gtrs:: Thinking more about this difficult question at some length, I'm now inclined to think that we (a) keep the lanthanides; (b) show Sc and Y as transition metals; and (c) position Lu and Lr below Y and colour them as, respectively, a lanthanide and an actinide. Other options I've thought about have their own internal logic inconsistencies or become too hard to explain. This would mean that group 3 would be comprised of two transition metals—even if they're only marginal TMs—and a lanthanide and an actinide. Lutetium and lawrencium have too many Ln and An friends, respectively, to warrant doing otherwise. The result would be a least bad solution rather than an ideal solution: I'm not sure there is one of these. Sandbh (talk) 23:59, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
No problem with this one. Though I find the "friends of Ln" and "people expect" arguments here shallow, or even unacceptable. As I see this: REM will not be present in our vanilla PT. The gap (between groups 2 and 3) will stay. Topical articles will be written accordingly then (e.g., REM as a secondary grouping). Busy IRL though. -DePiep (talk) 11:36, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

I'm okay with this. Not completely okay, but I wouldn't be with whatever else as well. Just I want to note Lu should be not just a lanthanide, but both lanthanide and a TM. So we color it as a lanthanide, and write in the infobox, in front of "Element category": "lanthanide, transition metal," with just a comma between the two categories. (For lanthanum, we write "lanthanide, sometimes also (note this also) considered a transition metal.) Same with Lr and Ac. Objections?

Also, I just noticed that if I place the cursor over a lanthanide in the infobox mimni PT, it displays "cerium (lanthanoid)." Why do we use the IUPAC's "lanthanoid" term?--R8R (talk 10:07, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

I think this is a rare case where common usage (lanthanide) should trump IUPAC. So yeah, it should be changed to "lanthanide". Double sharp (talk) 02:33, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Perspectives from the literature

Comments to follow. Sandbh (talk) 12:16, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

A. Seaborg 1949:

'It is not proposed that this particular form of the periodic table has any more merit than any of a number of others which place these elements in positions homologous to the rare-earth elements, since it is obvious that they can be analogously placed in a number of other types of tables or charts. The elements 90 to 96 inclusive or the first few of them could in addition be listed separately below the 5d elements in recognition of the resemblance of the first of these to 5d elements. This appears to be undesirable, however, since the last members of this group bear no such resemblance and it is probably impossible to draw a line as to just where the resemblance ends.'

  • Seaborg GT 1949, 'Place in periodic system and electronic structure of the heaviest elements', Nucleonics, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 16–36 (32)

B. Moeller 1963:

'The over-all properties of the lanthanides suggest that they are members of a subgroup within Periodic Group III (i.e., family IIIb). The ground-state electronic configurations [of Sc, Y, La and Ac] indicate clearly that the elements usually listed in this family are the first members of the four d-type transition series.

Whether the fundamental configuration is 4fn/5d1/6s2 or 4fn+1/6s2 is of far less chemical than physical significance, since the energy differences are too small to alter many chemical properties. To some extent, lanthanum and lutetium are cases in point, since their observed chemical characteristics are nearly the same as those of the adjacent lanthanides.

That such similar electronic configurations should result in striking similarities among the chemical properties of the lanthanides is both reasonable and in keeping with experimental observation. The 4f electrons differentiating the several elements from one another are sufficiently well shielded by intervening electron shells as to be largely unavailable for chemical interaction, and this feature distinguishes the lanthanides from the d-type transition elements, in which the d electrons are the "outermost" or valence electrons and are involved when chemical reactions occur.

The fundamental similarity in "outer" electronic configuration between the lanthanides and scandium, yttrium, and actinium favors classification of all these elements together in the same periodic family. The physical limitations of the Periodic Table as it is usually drawn, however, result in our placing the lanthanides (and actinides) apart from the remaining elements. Neither scandium nor yttrium is properly a lanthanide, as far as electronic configuration is concerned, nor properly is lanthanum since it has no 4f electrons. Property-wise, as has been indicated and will be shown further in the next section, yttrium and lanthanum are better discussed with the lanthanides than with any other elements. Scandium, on the other hand, is markedly different {p, 24). Even though scandium was first isolated from yttria sources (Table 1.2), its primary mode of natural occurrence is not with the lanthanides.'

C. Cotton 1999:

'Although not a rare element, scandium is expensive to study because its even distribition in the earth means that there are no rich ores. Another factor that has tended to restrict its study is that in its inorganic chemistry scandium exhibits exclusively the +3 oxidation state, so that it is not classed as a transition metal and is not amenable to study by most of the usual spectroscopic tools of the coordination chemist.'

D. MMH 2002:

'The chemistry of the scandium Group links strongly…with that of the f elements. Indeed, the general chemistry of the lanthanides in the III state is almost identical with that of yttrium and lanthanum. There are bigger differences between the chemistry of actinium and the actinide elements. It is convenient to treat scandium, yttrium, lanthanium, actinium and the lanthanides all together, and to treat the actinides independently.'

  • MacKay KM, MacKay RA & Henderson W 2002, Introduction to modern inorganic chemistry, 6th ed., Nelson Thornes, Cheltenham, p. 196

E. Kirby & Morss 2010:

'The chemistry of actinium closely follows that of lanthanum. There are no qualitative differences between them; the only quantitative differences are those attributable to the differences in their ion ionic radii (1.12 Å for Ac3+ and 1.032 Å for La3+ in six-fold coordination)…Because of this similarity, lanthanum is nearly ideal surrogate [sic] for actinium in the development of preparative or analytical procedures. As a carrier for trace amounts of actinium, lanthanum suffers from only one disadvantage: Once mixed, the two elements behave like any pair of adjacent rare earths and can only be separated by ion-exhange chromatography, solvent extraction, or fractional crystallization.'

  • Kirby HW and Morss LR 2010, 'Actium', in LR Morss, NM Edelstein & J Fuger (eds), The chemistry of the actinide and transactinide elements, vol. 1, 4th ed., Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 18–51 (18)

F. Fernandez & Ripka 2013:

'The idea that there might exist a new family of elements, which have very similar chemical properties, as the rare earth elements do, was not really new. As early as 1921, Bohr had explained the similarity of chemical properties of lanthanides by the fact that their outer electron orbit, with "six quanta" and responsible for most of their chemical properties, contained two electrons, whereas the inner orbits, with 4 or 5 quanta, were filled progressively as one went from lanthanum to lutetium. In the table of elements which he presented at the famous Bohr Festival in Göttingen in 1922, Bohr had drawn a (dotted line) frame indicating the possible existence of a new family of very similar substances, without however insisting. In his Nobel speech on November 11, 1922, he restated this possibility, adding that nothing could be claimed with certainty, because too few elements in that region were known at the time. In 1935, the German chemist Aristid von Grosse, who had emigrated to the United States, mentioned explicitly this possibility. The results obtained by McMillan, Abelson, and Seaborg certainly pointed in the direction. One should also mention the theoretical calculation of the German physicist Marie Goeppert-Mayer, who also emigrated to the United States. In a paper published in 1941, she showed the existence of another series of "rare earth" elements (as McMillan and Abelson called them) was theoretically not only possible but also very likely. According to her calculations, this series of new elements could even begin before uranium, starting with the element 91 (praseodymium). In a secret document sent to the uranium committee in 1942 and published only in 1948, Seaborg gives a detailed list of the chemical properties of neptunium and plutonium. He concludes, as McMillan and Abelson did, that there could well exist a new family of "rare earths," the first element of which could be uranium, thorium, or even actinium. In 1945, he became convinced that the family started with actinium, and he proposed to call the elements actinides, as had been done for lanthanides.'

  • Fernandez B & Ripka G 2013, Unraveling the mystery of the atomic nucleus: A sixty year journey 1896 — 1956, Springer Science+Business Media, New York, p. 428
Well, after all this, I've come 'round again to the arrangement set out above: (a) keep the lanthanides; (b) show Sc and Y as (marginal) transition metals; and (c) position Lu and Lr below Y and colour them as, respectively, a lanthanide and an actinide. I do like the fact, as noted below in my vote re Element Infobox, that this will enable Sc-Y-Lu-Lr...La-Ac, which is about as close as we'll probably be able to get to attempting to depict what's going in group 3. I'll think about all of this some more, one last time. Sandbh (talk) 02:52, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
@Double sharp: That's it for me. No better ideas. I'll await your deliberations, as you flagged previously. Sandbh (talk) 23:34, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
The large difference between Ac and the other actinides from Th onwards is the clincher for me. Because it doesn't really make sense to remove it from the actinides category to show its close relationship with La, I feel it also isn't sensible to put Sc and Y with the lanthanides because it misses Ac from the area of lanthanide-like elements. So I think we should keep lanthanides.
Like I've mentioned before, I like using Sc/Y/Lu/Lr while also aligning La and Ac to be just below group 3, just like what you suggest. This shows the Sc/Y/La/Ac relationship as well as the pseudohomology between the early actinides and the corresponding transition metals (e.g. Zr/Hf/Th, Nb/Ta/Pa, Mo/W/U, Tc/Re/Np, Ru/Os/Pu). Double sharp (talk) 08:06, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Vote sitrep

I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) votes 1 and 2 don't get up, for want of consensus. This would mean that we continue to show 15 lanthanide boxes under our 18-column table. It would also mean that we would keep the lanthanides category. As for Group 12, I believe FJ doesn't mind if we do or don't show them as TMs, as long as we don't call them poor metals. That's fine, we cld colour them as part of the proposed 'aluminium and the post-transition metals' category. However, both @Plasmic Physics: and @King jakob c 2: are opposed, the former on the basis that the group 12 metals exhibit some TM properties; the latter on the basis of what they regard as established convention. I intend to ask Plasmic Physics and King Jakob if they might be prepared to change their votes to Neutral, on essentially the grounds that, as FJ has noted, Wikipedia cld go either way wrt to Group 12. Failing that, Group 12 will remain as transition metals and the best we could do would be to mention their similarity in properties to the poor metals, in the poor metals article. Sandbh (talk) 05:53, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Consensus doesn't have to be unanimous (neither does it have to come from a vote). But we do need to incorporate all legitimate concerns (so I'd still wait for R8R to write on his reasons for preferring Ln to REM; I'm really curious about it). So I think they could still go through, but since R8R wants to say something we'll certainly wait for him to do so. Double sharp (talk) 08:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I guess its "A, B" you mean to say (not 1, 2). "A" (gourp 3). Jakob says that "A" is "not common" in the world, but with not much base. Axiosaurus simply opposes without much clarification (contrary). User:Petergans talked at WT:CHEM obviously, and at his talk I had a long overview of this issue. I urged him to vote here & start the argument (for Scerri figure 6, not this A), but to no avail. I conclude that no oppose vote is blocking this choice.
"B" (REMs). Opposition is because "use most common", and "lumping ... will add confusion". I'm sorry, I can not weigh this as arguments. Also the suggestion that the proposal is a rejection of other forms (Jacob) is incorrect (& that would be valid for every version). Anxious to hear from R8R though.
"C" group 12. FJ has not elaborated any remarks into arguments. Their vote here reads being void of argument, and can be discarded for being off-topic. FJ's contributions outside of the vote did not help to focus on the topic either. Plus, what Sandbh reads from it.
Overall, I can see a decision consensus in A, B and C. Arguments "I am not used to it" and "there is another correct possibility" are valid, but should not keep us at WP to decide anything. What is missing is: the same can be said of eavery earlier version; but how is this not an imporovement?. -DePiep (talk) 18:14, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Naming in C is detail, and could not block the higher outcome (group 12 change). -DePiep (talk) 18:14, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Having now read Consensus properly, I see where you (and DS) are coming from, and agree with your better stated summary of the situation.Sandbh (talk) 21:46, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the effort. If we at WP were not allowed to choose and change a PT presentation (scientifically sourced, alternatives noted), only because it is different from the current one (how was that a consensus? FJ gave us a taste -- not that sweet), one rejected for "is not the common one", than we better leave the lab and go do something else. Let's not forget to delete Janet's left step, Pyykkö's variants (how dare he), 699 of Mendeleevs 700 variants (and take back his nobel prize), and write an angry lecturing letter to the Seaborgia empire. -DePiep (talk) 10:27, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

No changes. This entire set of choices reflects a busybody mentality that I just don't understand. Arguments are framed in this project in the most biased way imaginable.

A) For the physical location of the elements Lu, Lr, La, and Ac in Wikipedia's main periodic table, (referred to in looks just about the same as it did in 2005 when it was at a different URL. Wikipedia's arrangement is the same as it was in 2005 with respect to these 4 elements. I know about Scerri. I know IUPAC doesn't have a formal position. I wrote at Wikipedia about Jensen's paper eight years ago. When both Wikipedia's table and the table referred to most often at the IUPAC web site have remained unchanged for eight years, maybe that's the best time for arguing because everything has just been too quiet?

B) See the URL above from IUPAC. Feeling lazy? OK. I'll repeat it again: . Because they only color Lanthanides and Actinides on their table and it's critical that our editorial choices reflect a superior intellect to IUPAC, perhaps we must color rare earth metals. Or maybe someone wants Wikipedia to take a position about group 3, so we need to emphasize that position. Lord knows why this was proposed. It's a busybody mentality. I don't understand it. All changes are represented as being good for their own sake. I'm expected to take a Wikipedia editor seriously when a sentence begins with "A failing of the IUPAC definition..." Here's a simple question: Are inner transition elements also transition elements? This is word-play.

C) When things could go either way, keep 'em as they are. Flying Jazz (talk) 17:17, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

B) Word-play, just like how dwarf planets aren't planets, eh? I think the inner transition metals aren't usually discussed with the transition metals. In fact, I do believe they're usually called "lanthanides and actinides". Double sharp (talk) 15:32, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

PT basic footnote could be better

  • ^ Habashi 2010
  • ^ Hill, Graham; Holman, John (2000). Chemistry in context (5th ed.). Cheltenham: Thomas Nelson & Sons. pp. 39–41. ISBN 0-17-448276-0.