SciArt: Teen illustrator brings chemistry in the periodic table alive with graphics

Scrolling through the illustrated elements feels a lot like strolling through Mendeleev's very own garden.

There are a hundred and eighteen elements known, which collectively make up the entire world as we know it. From the books that we read, the phones that we use, to the cars that we drive, the elements are the foundation of chemistry. Yet, as students, the organic, inorganic and most of all, the long, tedious Periodic Table of Elements was quite intimidating.

A college-going chemistry illustrator, Julie Hu, has put a cool new spin in this age-old Table, with unique graphics suited to each and every individual element. Beware, though. Once you've seen Hu's version of the Periodic Table, the former version simply won't cut it for you anymore.

SciArt: Teen illustrator brings chemistry in the periodic table alive with graphics

Julie Hu's illustrated version of the Periodic Table of Elements. Image: thePeriodicGraphicsOfElements.com

"Chemical elements do not only exist as concepts in the chemistry books, but also are relevant to us in our daily lives," the project website reads. Each of the 118 elements has a carefully chosen graphic representing something unique about the element — a significant, use or property that sets it apart. ​

Lithium, for instance, is widely-popular for its use in the lithium-ion batteries, which is used to power most electronics — mobile phones, cars, even satellites.

Nickel is used to make currency coins, and titanium, to build machinery, medical equipment and surgical implants for people with hands or legs impaired.

The artist's personal favourite is gallium, illustrated by a melting spoon.

Gallium has a very low melting point, of just 85.58 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that a spoon made of gallium would disappear before your eyes if you used it to stir your coffee. Francium is another one of Hu's favourites, a highly radioactive element with an extremely short half-life of just 20 minutes. Part of the illustration for the element Francium is a countdown timer showing "00:20", along with an Eiffel Tower and a chateau to represent France, in honor of which the element was named.

Julie Hu's SciArt project, Alchemy, is aiming to boost science communication through visual art.

Scroll through the inspired, illustrated version of the periodic table of elements, Hu hopes that it feels like a pleasant stroll through the Father of Chemistry, Mendeleev's very own garden.

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