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The periodic law, manifested in the chart of the elements, is so fundamental in chemistry and related areas of physics that the question arises “Might periodicity among molecules also be embodied in a periodic system?” This review paper details how a particular periodic system of gas-phase diatomic molecules, allowing for the forecasting of thousands of new data, was developed. It can include ionized and even quarked-nuclei molecules and it coincides with locality (averaging) and the additivity found in some data; it has interesting vector properties, and it may be related in challenging ways to partial order. The review then explains how periodic systems for triatomic and four-atomic species are evolving along a similar path. The systems rest largely upon exhaustive comparisons of tabulated data, relate to some extent to the octet rule, and include reducible representations of the dynamic group SO(4) in higher spaces. Finally, the paper shows how periodicity can be quantified in data for larger molecules. Data for properties of homologous or substituted molecules, in any phase, are quantified with a vector index, and the index for one set can be transformed into that for another set.


This article was published in Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, 2008, 11, 691-706.