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Periodic Table Podcasts

January 20, 2019

The Royal Society of Chemistry has produced podcasts for every element! Enjoy brief stories about the elements that place them in historical context.

Metallic Hydrogen Discovery

February 13, 2017

Researchers at Harvard have provided the first experimental demonstration of solid metallic hydrogen. At very high pressures, dihydrogen (H2) is converted to a solid with the properties of an atomic metal, including being reflective.

A popular press summary:

The original research report in Science magazine:

Electrochemistry Song

April 21, 2016

A fun way to remember the parts of an electrochemical cell can be found in the fun electrochemistry song found here.

High Spin/Low Spin and d-splitting

April 1, 2016

The following resources contain additional information about d-orbital splitting:

1. This reference goes into more depth with high spin vs. low spin complexes, as well as strong vs. weak field ligands from the spectrochemical series.

Crabtree, R. H. The Organometallic Chemistry of the Transition Metals, 4th ed.; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, 2005; pp 10-13.


2. This reference discusses strong and weak field ligands with respect to the pairing energy of electrons in the d-orbital.

Shriver; Atkins. Inorganic Chemistry, 4th ed.; Oxford University Press, 2005; pp 462-463.


3. This reference is a great resource for understanding how pi donor and pi acceptor ligands affect the split in d-orbital degeneracy, from a MO perspective.

Miessler, G. L.; Tarr, D. A.; Inorganic Chemistry, 4th ed.; Prentice Hall, pp 377-381.

Werner Coordination Complexes

March 21, 2016

More than 100 years ago, Alfred Werner first proposed the structure of coordination complexes in the mode that we still use today! The following papers discuss some of Werner’s many accomplishments and contributions to the field of transition metal complexes.

  1. Werner’s intuition on coordination chemistry and current-day characterization on samples prepared by Werner and his lab are discussed in this report.
  2. In this paper, a brief history on coordination chemistry from the 19th Century and Werner’s proposed structures are presented.
  3. Crystallographic characterization of an original crystal prepared by Werner and his lab is shown here.