a successful attempt to state the theories and facts of chemistry, not in condensed epitomes, but in an easily read form. The Traité de chimie minérale, edited by H. Moissan, and the Handbuch der anorganischen Chemie, edited by Abegg, are of the same type. O. Dammer’s Handbuch der anorganischen Chemie and F. Beilstein’s Handbuch der organischen Chemie are invaluable works of reference. Of the earlier encyclopaedias we may notice the famous Handwörterbuch der reinen und angewandten Chemie, edited by Liebig; Frémy’s Encyclopédie de chimie, Wurtz’s Dictionnaire de chimie pure et appliquée, Watts’ Dictionary of Chemistry, and Ladenburg’s Handwörterbuch der Chemie.
The number of periodicals devoted to chemistry has steadily increased since the early part of the 19th century. In England the most important is the Journal of the Chemical Society of London, first published in 1848. Since 1871 abstracts of papers appearing in the other journals have been printed. In 1904 a new departure was made in issuing Annual Reports, containing résumés of the most important researches of the year. The Chemical News, founded by Sir W. Crookes in 1860, may also be noted. In America the chief periodical is the American Chemical Journal, founded in 1879. Germany is provided with a great number of magazines. The Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft, published by the Berlin Chemical Society, the Chemisches Centralblatt, which is confined to abstracts of papers appearing in other journals, the Zeitschrift für Chemie, and Liebig’s Annalen der Chemie are the most important of the general magazines. Others devoted to special phases are the Journal für praktische Chemie, founded by Erdmann in 1834, the Zeitschrift für anorganische Chemie and the Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie. Mention may also be made of the invaluable Jahresberichte and the Jahrbuch der Chemie. In France, the most important journals are the Annales de chimie et de physique, founded in 1789 with the title Annales de chimie, and the Comptes rendus, published weekly by the Académie française since 1835.
II. General Principles
The substances with which the chemist has to deal admit of classification into elements and compounds. Of the former about eighty may be regarded as well characterized, although many more have been described.
Elements.—The following table gives the names, symbols and atomic weights of the perfectly characterized elements:—
|International Atomic Weights, 1910.|
|Beryllium or |
The elements are usually divided into two classes, the metallic and the non-metallic elements; the following are classed as non-metals, and the remainder as metals:—
Of these hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, oxygen, nitrogen, argon, neon, krypton, xenon and helium are gases, bromine is a liquid, and the remainder are solids. All the metals are solids at ordinary temperatures with the exception of mercury, which is liquid. The metals are mostly bodies of high specific gravity; they exhibit, when polished, a peculiar brilliancy or metallic lustre, and they are good conductors of heat and electricity; the non-metals, on the other hand, are mostly bodies of low specific gravity, and bad conductors of heat and electricity, and do not exhibit metallic lustre. The non-metallic elements are also sometimes termed metalloids, but this appellation, which signifies metal-like substances (Gr. εἰδος, like), strictly belongs to certain elements which do not possess the properties of the true metals, although they more closely resemble them than the non-metals in many respects; thus, selenium and tellurium, which are closely allied to sulphur in their chemical properties, although bad conductors of heat and electricity, exhibit metallic lustre and have relatively high specific gravities. But when the properties of the elements are carefully contrasted together it is found that no strict line of demarcation can be drawn dividing them into two classes; and if they are arranged in a series, those which are most closely allied in properties being placed next to each other, it is observed that there is a more or less regular alteration in properties from term to term in the series.
When binary compounds, or compounds of two elements, are decomposed by an electric current, the two elements make their appearance at opposite poles. Those elements which are disengaged at the negative pole are termed electro-positive, or positive, or basylous elements, whilst those disengaged at the positive pole are termed electro-negative, or negative, or chlorous elements. But the difference between these two classes of elements is one of degree only, and they gradually merge into each other; moreover the electric relations of elements are not absolute, but vary according to the state of combination in which they exist, so that it is just as impossible to divide the elements into two classes according to this property as it is to separate them into two distinct classes of metals and non-metals. The following, however, are negative towards the remaining elements which are more or less positive:—Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, oxygen, sulphur, selenium, tellurium.
The metals may be arranged in a series according to their power of displacing one another in salt solutions, thus Cs, Rb, K, Na, Mg, Al, Mn, Zn, Cd, Tl, Fe, Co, Ni, Sn, Pb, (H), Sb, Bi, As, Cu, Hg, Ag, Pd, Pt, Au.
Elements which readily enter into reaction with each other, and which develop a large amount of heat on combination, are said to have a powerful affinity for each other. The tendency of positive elements to unite with positive elements, or of negative elements to unite with negative elements, is much less than that of positive elements to unite with negative elements, and the greater the difference in properties between two elements the more powerful is their affinity for each other. Thus, the affinity of hydrogen and oxygen for each other is extremely powerful, much heat being developed by the combination of these two elements; when binary compounds of oxygen are decomposed by the electric current, the oxygen invariably appears at the positive pole, being negative to all other elements, but the hydrogen of hydrogen compounds is always disengaged at the negative pole. Hydrogen and oxygen are, therefore, of very opposite natures, and this is well illustrated by the circumstance that oxygen combines, with very few exceptions, with all the remaining elements, whilst compounds of only a limited number with hydrogen have been obtained.
Compounds.—A chemical compound contains two or more