Faculty Publications


Periodic Systems of Molecules: Physical and Chemical

Document Type


Publication Date

January 1994


This paper is a review of research on molecular periodic systems, a developed field of research. The distinguishing characteristics of Physical Periodic Systems are that they include only molecules with a given number of atoms, e.g., diatomic molecules (N=2), and that all relevant molecules with that number of atoms are or can be included. Physical Periodic systems are defined as follows: a Physical Periodic System for N-atom molecules is the outer iV-product of an originating atomic periodic table, or can be generated from such a product system by use of slicing or projection techniques to include only molecules with a given number of atoms, e.g., diatomic molecules (N=2); they include recent classifications based on group dynamics. The distinguishing characteristic of Chemical Periodic Systems is that they contain molecules with differing numbers of atoms. It is also a characteristic that they include only molecules stable under a well-known set of conditions (such as atmosphericpressure wet chemistry). Work related to each kind of system is described chronologically, whether or not the work was identified as a periodic system by its author. All publications claiming to present molecular periodic systems (and of which the authors are aware) are listed, in an effort to achieve a complete review of the rapidly growing field. Finally, a recommendation is made that future classification systems be identified as Physical or Chemical periodic systems, in accordance with the distinguishing characteristics. Care should be taken to ensure that a system truly displays periodicity, and is not just an interesting lattice.

Journal Title

Report #1, Physics Department, Southern Adventist University