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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 14 Issue 4 (2008) pp 155-157

Periodic Puzzles:The Periodic Table, Element Symbols and Pattern Recognition

Thomas J. Manning

Department of Chemistry, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698,
Received December 27, 2007. Accepted September 1, 2009

Published online: 22 December 2009

Abstract. A chemistry based puzzle derived from the logic of Latin Squares is described in this paper. Students complete a nine by nine grid in a systematic fashion using a total of 81 different elemental symbols. There are horizontal, vertical, sub-unit (3x3) and alphabetical constraints placed on completing the grid properly. The elements are broken into nine groups based on chemical properties and position on the periodic table. In order to solve the puzzle in an efficient matter a logic pattern is recommended. A number of variations are possible from the original puzzle presented in this paper.

Key Words: In the Classroom; general chemistry

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Issue date: Dec, 31, 2009

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