A Hitch in the "Electronic Computer"
Physics and chemistry had made tremendous progress by the
twenties of our century. In a matter of two decades these sciences had
scored no less achievements than throughout the preceding history of mankind.
But the discovery of new elements suddenly
came to a standstill. There remained several "blank" spaces in the
Periodic Table which had to be filled. These were the boxes corresponding
to the atomic numbers 43, 61, 85, and 87. What strange elements were these
which refused flatly to settle in the Periodic Table?
Stranger No.1. An element of Group Seven with the atomic
number 43, situated between manganese and rhenium, and probably similar
in properties to these elements. It was to be sought in manganese ores.
Stranger No.2. A companion of the rare-earth elements resembling
them in all aspects. Atomic number 61.
Stranger No.3. The heaviest halogen, iodine's elder brother.
It could be a great surprise to chemists, for it was not impossible that
its properties would be weakly metallic. Halogen and metal what a splendid
example of a two-faced element! Flat 85 of the Big House was kept in readiness
Stranger No.4. Now this is an interesting element. The most furious,
the most active metal, and it would melt if just held on the palm of your
hand. The heaviest of the alkali metals. Its atomic number is 87.