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Newlands Law of Octaves

In 1864, Newlands made an attempt to classify elements. There are seven musical notes in music. Every eighth note is similar to the first one and it is the first note of the next scale. Similarly Newland stated that the eighth element starting from a given one is a kind of repetition of the first like the eight notes of an octave of music. So he called this relation ship as the Law of octaves.
 
According to Newlands' law of octaves when the elements are arranged in order of increasing atomic weights then every eighth element has properties similar to that of the first element.
 
Newlands arranged the then known elements into the form of table 5.2 below.

 

Table 5.2    Newlands' table of elements

Element

Li

Be

B

C

N

O

F

Atomic weight

7

9

11

12

14

16

19

Element

Na

Mg

Al

Si

P

S

Cl

Atomic Weight

23

24

27

28

31

32

35.5

Element

K

Ca

 

 

 

 

 

Atomic Weight

39

40

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Newlands' table of elements, lithium, sodium and potassium occupied places near each other. Other similar elements like fluorine and chlorine or oxygen and sulphur were placed near each other. This classification worked well with the elements with small atomic weights but failed in the case of elements with large atomic weights.

 


Defect of Newland law of octaves
 
Newland’s could classify elements up to calcium only. After calcium every eighth element did not possess properties similar to that of the first. The elements that were discovered later could not be fitted into the octave pattern.


 





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