The Periodic Table: The elements that shape the Universe
Laboratorium Science Museum
Bergara, Basque Country (Spain)
The year 2019 was declared the International Year of the Periodic Table by the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, marking the 150th anniversary of the creation of the periodic table by the Russian scientist Dimitri Mendeléiev in 1869. This iconic table organizes the elements based on the characteristics of their atoms, revolutionizing our understanding of chemistry.
In this exhibition, we aim to shed light on the profound significance of the invention of the periodic table. We also pay homage to the Elhuyar brothers, who achieved a remarkable feat in 1783 by isolating the element tungsten within the facilities of the Chemical Laboratory, established in 1778 in association with the Baskongado Patriotic Seminary of Bergara.
The creation of the periodic table stands as one of the most pivotal milestones in the history of science. In this initial exhibition, we present the periodic table in an interactive format. We explore its fundamental function and trace its evolution, ultimately culminating in its present-day configuration. Furthermore, we delve into the unique characteristics of each of the chemical elements that compose this remarkable table.
One of the highlights of this exhibition is the Table of Abundance, an initiative introduced by the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) and presented in the European Parliament in 2019. This special periodic table offers insights into the natural chemical elements while representing the abundance or scarcity of each element on Earth. The Table of Abundance is not merely a scientific curiosity; it serves as a critical tool for understanding the resources we must protect. Many of these resources are at significant risk of supply depletion in the coming years, and this knowledge underscores the importance of sustainable resource management.
To enhance the visitor experience, we have crafted a large interactive periodic table for this exhibition. Within this exhibit, each chemical element is represented by a wooden cube. What sets this display apart is its multimedia content activation system embedded in each cube. Visitors can engage with these cubes to access a wealth of information. Through audiovisual presentations, graphic resources, and animations, we delve into the unique characteristics and peculiarities of each chemical element. This immersive experience fosters a deeper understanding of the periodic table and its individual components, making it accessible and engaging for visitors of all ages.
As you explore this exhibition, we hope you gain a newfound appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the chemical world. From Mendeléiev’s groundbreaking work to the critical issues addressed by the Table of Abundance, the periodic table continues to shape our understanding of the elements that make up our world and their essential role in our lives.
Juan Roberto Vásquez
Production and Multimedia:
Lead designer and direction: