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I would like to thank Spence et al. for their response (1) to my article (2), in which I criticized what I, and others, took to be a claim for the observation of atomic orbitals. I am relieved to hear that the authors agree with me that it is not orbitals that can be observed but only charge density. Given this apparent agreement it is surprising that the(More)
This article consists of a critique of the writings of Peter Atkins. The topics discussed include the quantum mechanical explanation of the periodic system, the aufbau principle and the order of occupation of orbitals by electrons. It is also argued that Atkins fails to appreciate the philosophical significance of the more general version of the Pauli(More)
This new book by Eric Scerri is published on the centenary of the death of Dmitrii Mendeleev (1834-1907). His readable narrative is philosophical as well as historical. The first five chapters of this ten-chapter book deal with the origins, discoverers, and the acceptance of the periodic system. After the introduction and a brief overview of the evolution(More)
Received Revised Textbooks often claim that quantum mechanics explained the periodic system: namely, the actual connguration of electronic orbits that is responsible for the element's chemical properties can be described as the one that minimizes the total energy, and the energy of each connguration can be computed by using quantum mechanics. However, a(More)
W hen I push my hand down onto my desk it does not generally pass through the wooden surface. Why not? From the perspective of physics perhaps it ought to, since we are told that the atoms that make up all materials consist mostly of empty space. Here is a similar question that is put in a more sophisticated fashion. In modern physics any body is described(More)
The positive strides that have been made in chemical education research are undeniable as are the contributions made by this Journal in furthering the development of the field. In this piece I would like to suggest that all may not be well, however, and that some simple measures could be taken to redirect the general outlook and thereby improve the(More)