For my IUPAC Nobelium Contest entry, I made four Periodic Table of Elements reading lights categorized by the elements blocks. In simple terms, I was inspired by my fondness of making science a part of our everyday life. With this in mind, I decided to make this helpful gadget that can be just as pleasant as a decorative ornament. To begin, I considered how I should group the elements. I wanted to keep the elements’ arrangement close to that of the Periodic Table, so I went for element blocks. The four blocks are as follows: s-block, p-block, d-block, and f-block. By using the element blocks, elements are classified by the last/outermost subshell occupied due to their electron configuration. For the models of the elements, I designed cylindrical figures by gluing together wooden cubes:
– S-block: 14 cubes (6 per Group 1 and Group 2; 2 separate cubes for Hydrogen and Helium, which belong to the s-block)
– P-block: 36 cubes (these are the elements in Group 13 through Group 18, excluding Helium)
– D-block: 38 cubes (are also the Transition Metals)
– F-block: 30 cubes (the Lanthanide Series on top and Actinide Series below)
Labeling the cubes individually was my next step. I cut out the elements from one of my Periodic Tables and carefully glued them to the front of the cubes. I also made wood labels to name the four models. These models were then glued to glass bases. Finally, I added small, LED reading lights onto the bases. The now finished product makes a wonderful accessory. The light can be positioned directly above the arranged cubes to display it’s features, or, it can serve as a handy reading light/night light.
It was a delight to exercise my creativity on this project, and I hope fellow Chemistry enthusiasts find it just as delightful.