Sheehan periodic table

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In periodic tables, Sheehan periodic table refers to []


In 1970, William Sheehan, an American physical chemistry, made the following periodic table, wherein each element’s letter size (and box size) is meant to be indicative representation of the relative abundance of each element on the earth’s surface:[1]

Sheehan periodic table (1970).jpg

The colors suggest relative electronegativity—a concept first proposed by Linus Pauling in 1932 as a development of valence bond theory—those with more negative charge, i.e. able to attract electrons, shown in red, those with more positive charge, i.e. able to donate electrons, shown in blue.

Later analysis, supposedly, demonstrated that there are problems with its accuracy (Burdette, 2014).[2]


The following are related quotes:

“Roughly, the size of an element’s own niche (‘I almost wrote square’) is proportional to its abundance on the earth’s surface, an in addition, certain chemical similarities, e.g. Be or Al, or B and Si, are suggested by the positioning of the neighbors. The chart emphasizes that in real life, a chemist will probably meet O, Si, and Al, … and that he better do something about it. Periodic table based on abundance, would, of course, vary from planet to planet. Note: to accommodate all elements, some distortions were necessary, e.g. some elements do not occur naturally.”
— William Sheehan (1976), “Caption to poster”, [3]


  1. (a) Sheehan, William. (1970). Publication. Publisher.
    (b) Sheehan, William F. (1976). “Periodic Table of Elements with Emphasis”, Chemistry, 49(3):17-18; copyrighted by Sheehan in 1970.
    (c) Elements According to Relative Abundance (1970) –
  2. Burdette, Shawn C. (2014). "[ Periodic Table with {wildly inaccurate} EMPHASIS]", Chemistry Reflux, Blog, Dec 30.
  3. Elements According to Relative Abundance (1970) –

External links

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