CONCEPTS IN PHYSICS (CRM Books, 1973) » CONCEPTS IN PHYSICS (CRM Books, 1973) – Payson Stevens


CRM’s physics textbook wanted to make an updated version of the original periodic table of the elements created by Dimitri Mendeleev (1869). I took on this daunting scientific design task as my contribution to the book. The goal was to show the chemical and physical properties of the elements using a combination of color relationships (which had been done before) and link them to an understanding of their electron orbits with detailed illustrations (which had not). I’m not sure if the foldout succeeded, as it too, required the student to dig deeper and study it perhaps more carefully than the standard tables. But it allowed me to understand Mendeleev’s genius (even before atomic orbital theory was understood) and continue my explorations into using interactive foldouts as a way to reinforce the learning experience. With the advent of interactive digital multimedia (mid-1980s), I was able to take these design experiments in science education to the next level of interactivity.