The International Year of the Periodic Table

Marking the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s discovery of the periodic system, 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT). We look forward to sharing and celebrating the IYPT with all our readers this year.

Headline sponsor

JMP logo


Johnson Matthey

The Elements Song 2019

2019-12-10T10:38:00+00:00By , and

For the international year of the periodic table, we’ve worked with Helen Arney and the Waterbeach Brass Band to update Tom Lehrer’s Elements Song

How it all started

Dmitri Mendeleev (1834–1907), a Russian chemist and inventor, is credited with the discovery of the periodic system of chemical elements in 1869.

A picture of Mendeleev with his 1869 periodic table

The father of the periodic table


Mike Sutton looks at how Mendeleev’s patience revealed periodicity in the elements

  • The periodic patience of Dmitri Mendeleev

  • Lithium: Good enough for batteries

  • Chromium: Lust for colour

  • Chlorine, nitrogen and the legacies of Fritz Haber

  • Plutonium: The element factory

  • P is for phosphorus

  • Iridium and the demise of the dinosaurs

  • The discovery of radium – part two

  • The discovery of radium – part one

  • The end of phlogiston and the discovery of oxygen

A global conversation

The periodic table is a talking point for scientists around the world.

Our headline sponsor

Chemistry World is pleased to acknowledge the support of our headline sponsor JMP

JMP logo
  • If you think data is the new oil, you’re thinking too crudely

  • Workshop: Making better data-based decisions with statistical modelling techniques

  • Chemistry needs the human element - here’s why

Our sponsor

Chemistry World is pleased to acknowledge the support of Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey
  • Unlocking the future of the chemical industry: the transformative potential of biocatalysis

  • Driving the transition to sustainable air travel

  • How a circular economy and nanotech save us from a clean energy bottleneck

Chemical storytelling

Listen to stories about all 118 elements on the periodic table.

Periodic table of the elements – 118 – Oganesson


2018-02-15T12:00:00+00:00By and

Meet Yuri Oganessian, the elemental explorer forever immortalised on the periodic table

The newest elements

Labs around the world are racing to create new 'superheavy' elements. Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 (nihonium, moscovium, tennessine and oganesson) were confirmed in late 2015. When will we see the next new element on the periodic table?

The elements song

First recorded by Tom Lehrer in 1959 (when there were only 102 elements on the periodic table) it has since been covered, and updated, by many scientists and musicians over the years.

Tom Lehrer: The Elements Song, live in Copenhagen


Tom Lehrer performs his chemistry anthem before a live audience in Copenhagen, 1967