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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 18 (2013) pp 327-332
DOI 10.1007/s00897132519

Henry Moseley (1887–1915): A Brilliant Short-Lived Scientist

George B. Kauffman*and Jean-Pierre Adloff

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,; Honorary Professor, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France F-67100,

Published: 30 December 2013

Abstract. Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley (1887–1915), an English physicist, by means of X-ray spectroscopy, established that the chemical properties of the elements are periodic functions of their atomic numbers rather than their atomic weights, as proposed by Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendeleev. He was able to explain a number of “inversions” in the table and predict a number of “missing” elements. His death three weeks before his 28th birthday, by a Turkish sniper’s bullet in the disastrous Gallipoli invasion in the Dardanelles, “might well have been the most costly single death of the war to mankind generally.”

Key Words: Chemistry and History; Nobel Laureates; inorganic chemistry; physical chemistry; x-ray spectrometry; x-ray spectroscopy; radioactivity; missing elements; periodic table; periodic system; atomic numbers; atomic weights; rare earths; World War I.

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: georgek@mail.fresnostate.ed)

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