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Fernando DuFour

Fernando Himself

"A third dimension
[for the periodic table]
is not an option but a necessity"

Since he first saw an article featuring an adaptation of the 1925 Courtine model in the November 6, 1946 issue of Popular Science magazine, Fernando Dufour, chemistry professor at the College Ahuntsic, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (now emeritus), better known to his friends and aficionados as "Nando," has been fascinated and obsessed by the idea of developing a 3-D color model table of his own.

He has described the genesis of his lifelong passionate preoccupation: "When I discovered the periodic table, I was awed to the ultimate heaven in thinking that this was knowledge so infinite it would unravel all the mysteries of nature - the blueprint of the universe itself. It was Archimedes' grain of sand - "To understand a grain of sand is to understand the universe."

Since then, for more than half a century, this septuagenarian, who humorously refers to himself as "an 80-year-old kid," has spent all his time developing version after version of a three-dimensional periodic table (first using cardboard and Styrofoam, and now plastic) designed for teachers, students, or for classroom use via an overhead projector, which makes one model sufficient for an entire class of students.

In 1979 he received his M.Sc. degree from the Universite Concordia in Montreal with the Thesis topic, "An attempt to unravel atomic structure with a three dimensional model of the periodic table." In his opinion, "A third dimension [for the periodic table] is not an option but a necessity."

The 10.5" 3-D commercial model of Dufour’s ElemenTree uses the horizontal and vertical symmetry inherent in the periodic table to relate the electron configurations of the elements to their chemical and physical properties. The plastic ElemenTree is transparent and suitable for use with an overhead projector.

With both vertical and horizontal axes, ElemenTree expands the visual access from 3 to 42 periodic features.

An unbroken numerical sequence from 1 to 118 allows the learner to stay on track while tracing trends, similarities, or differences for any element. Blocks s, p, d, and f are integrated as a bisymmetrical motif for the tree structure.

Fernando DuFour

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Democritus,  Periodic Table Basis,  Patenting,   Element Groups,  Mendeleev,  Element Symbols,  Spiral Models, de Chancourtois,  hydrogen,  Noble Gases,  neon,  Niels Bohr,  Theodore Gray,  Rare Earths, krypton,  Glenn Seaborg,  xenon,  Alexander Arrangement of Elements,  Eric Scerri,  Fernando Dufour,  Other Inventors

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