Who is John Alexander Reina Newlands?June 25, 2021
British scientist whose full name is John Alexander Reina Newlands.
He was born on 26 November 1837 in London, England. John Newlands, whose father is Scottish, and whose mother is of Italian descent, received his primary education by his father. He entered the Royal College of Chemistry in 1856, where he studied under the leadership of A. W. Hofmann. He later assisted Royal Agricultural Society Chemist J. T. Way. He began practicing as an analytical chemist in 1864 and supplemented his income with teaching chemistry.
John Newlands developed the first periodic table in 1863 and divided the elements into 11 groups based on similar physical properties. In 1865, with the theorem he named “The Octave Rule”, he realized that the 62 elements known at that time, arranged according to their atomic weights, repeated similar physical and chemical properties after the first 8 elements, and he was the first to notice this. He observed that the 8th element, which comes after element number one, is a kind of repetition of the primary, just like the 8th sound of an octave in music.
Newlands, who also worked on sugar chemistry during this period, started to work as the chief chemist in a refinery belonging to James Duncan in 1868. Here he developed a sugar cleaning system and made some improvements in processing. He left in 1886 as the refinery declined due to foreign competition. He then began collaborating with his brother, B. E. R. Newlands. During this time, when Mendeleev uncovered a periodic table unaware of Newlands’ work on the periodic table, Newlands explained that he wrote to Chemical News four years before Mendeleev announced his periodic table:
“If the elements are arranged in several transitions according to their equivalence, it is seen that elements belonging to the same group appear on the same horizontal line. Also, the numbers of similar elements differ by a multiple of seven or seven. The members oppose each other in the same relationship with the extremities of one or more octaves. Thus, in the nitrogen group, phosphorus “It’s the seventh element after nitrogen, and arsenic is the fourteenth element after phosphorus, as is antimony after arsenic. I predict this strange relationship evokes the Law of the Octave.”
Although this explanation was not accepted at first and the “Law of Octave” was seen as a controversial issue at first, it was later accepted as an important generalization in modern chemistry theory.
He thus made an important contribution to the development of the periodic law.
John Newlands died on 29 July 1898, at the age of 60, from influenza (flu) in England.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer Yıldırım’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook