Dmitri Mendeleev (born on this day in 1834) was real good at chemistry. Mendeleev neatened up the nascent Periodic Table and so facilitated the discovery and proper classification of further elements. He saw it all in a dream which may, or may not, have owed something to 40% vodka. I was not real good at chemistry. I had Mendeleev with his Hydrogen and Helium confused with Gregor Mendel with his flies and peas. But I did learn this one thing which has held me in surprisingly good stead in quizzes. It is a mnemonic for the first twenty elements – two scientists who worked together late in the lab were called H He Li BeBCNoF and NeNa MgAlSiPSClArKCa*. Do you have any useful mnemomics?
*Pronounced “Aitch HeeLee Bebknoff and Nina Mgalsippsclarka”
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