Pauli Exclusion Principle
Rationalizing The Periodic Law
For more than half a century, chemists had known that the chemical elements display a regular pattern of properties, a discovery originally announced as the periodic law by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907) in about 1869. The Pauli exclusion principle provided important theoretical support for the periodic law. When a chart is made showing the electronic configuration of all the elements, an interesting pattern results. The elements have one, two, three, four (and so on) electrons in their outermost orbital in a regular and repeating pattern. All elements with one electron in their outermost orbital, for example, occur in column one of Mendeleev's periodic table. They have similar chemical and physical properties, it turns out, because they have similar electronic configurations.
Miller, Franklin, Jr. College Physics. 5th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.
David E. Newton
Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Evolution to FerrocyanidePauli Exclusion Principle - Historical Background, The Exclusion Principle, Electronic Configurations, Rationalizing The Periodic Law