The periodic table of elements, organized thoughtfully from hydrogen to ununoctium, is a tribute to the accomplishments of modern chemistry and physics. Since Dmitri Mendeleev developed an early version of the now-ubiquitous layout in 1869, discovering a new element has been a surefire way for a scientist to grab a place in the history books--and in the pages of Popular Science.
Showing just how fundamental the elements are to modern science, the third-ever issue of PopSci, from August 1872, included a lengthy essay outlining the history of the "different sorts of matter," predicting correctly that scientists might continue discovering elements for "centuries to come."
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