Late one night several seniors entered the student lounge intent upon some long-unfinished business: to replace the seldom used bulletin boards with a hand-painted Periodic Table of the Elements.
The Lounge Table contains elements 1-103 and provides students working in the lounge with each element’s atomic symbol, name, atomic # and mass, physical state (red = gas, blue = liquid, gray = solid) and stability (radioactive elements are, with one exception, appropriately gray).
The painters, all seniors, signed the wall next to the Table, and also acknowledged their debt to two Reed chemists from years gone by: Joe Weisman ’65, who came through with critical funds for the project, and Marsh Cronyn ’40 [chemistry 1952-89] whose 2003 paper, “The Proper Place for Hydrogen in the Periodic Table” (J. Chem. Ed., DOI 10.1021/ed080p947) inspired the placement of “H” at two locations: the traditional location over Li, and Cronyn’s preferred location over C. Although the entire Table was hand-painted, the artists first created 103 laser-cut stencils, one for each element, so that they could guarantee consistent size and easy rectangulation.
Note to future artists-in-chemistry: Should you have an art project up your sleeve, we have the wall space (stairwells, 1st & 2nd floors especially) and we would very much love to hear your ideas before you paint.