For more than 150 years, the structure of the periodic system of the chemical elements has intensively motivated research in different areas of chemistry and physics. However, there is still no unified picture of what a periodic system is. Herein, based on the relations of order and similarity, we report a formal mathematical structure for the periodic system, which corresponds to an ordered hypergraph. It is shown that the current periodic system of chemical elements is an instance of the general structure. The definition is used to devise a tailored periodic system of polarizability of single covalent bonds, where order relationships are quantified within subsets of similar bonds and among these classes. The generalized periodic system allows envisioning periodic systems in other disciplines of science and humanities.
Formal structure of periodic system of elements
Wilmer Leal and Guillermo Restrepo
Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Published:03 April 2019 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2018.0581