The Wooden Periodic Table Table
Yes, it really is a table. What, How, Why.     Newest Samples! Updated 13 January, 2010.

Visit my other Periodic Table Website at the best possible
most amazingly great URL,

Current count: 2379 samples, 118 elements, 471 minerals, 14 stories, 1711 rotatable images, 1536 smooth rotations, 78 videos, 47 sounds.

Collections, Spell with Elements game, Reaction balancing, How to collect elements,
Buy my beautiful photo periodic table.
Notable Links

My photographic periodic table poster!
The Brainiac Fiasco.
My museum displays and element sales.
My Popular Science column.
My 2002 Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Oliver Sacks came to visit!
Making hydrogen at home.
Periodic table table Clamping the table Tungsten tile Periodic Table Poster Periodic table display Oliver Sacks

Buy a copy of my new book THE ELEMENTS or a photo periodic table poster or card deck!
Posters up to four and half feet wide, laminiated place mats, 3D prints, and now a huge card deck!
"Extraordinarily lovely. A wonderful
job both scientifically and artistically."
—satisfied poster customer

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Click any element to see more.


What is this thing anyway?

This website documents, in great depth, a large collection of chemical elements and examples of their applications, common and uncommon. Click any element tile above and you will find probably more than you ever wanted to know about that element. All these samples (well, at least the ones that fit) are stored in a wooden periodic table, by which I mean a physical table you can actually sit at, in my office at Wolfram Research.

I decided to build this table by accident in early 2002, as a result of a misunderstanding while reading Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks. I won't bore you with the details here (see the Complete Pictorial History of the Wooden Periodic Table Table), but once it was finished I felt obligated to start finding elements to go in it (because under the name of each element in my table there is a sample area).

Then I started building a website to document all my samples, and that's when things really got out of hand. A few months later my little table won the 2002 Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry, clearly the highest honor for which it is eligible.

Sensing an audience, I began to take the website more seriously, which led to my being asked to write a monthly column for Popular Science magazine, which I've now been doing continuously since the July 2003 issue.

Later I formed a most satisfying partnership with Max Whitby building high-end museum displays, selling element samples and sets, and filming video demonstrations of the chemical properties of the elements.

This website now contains the largest, most complete library of stock photographs of the elements and their applications available anywhere, as well as a large and growing collection of 3D images documenting hundreds of samples rotated through 360 degrees. Try clicking on some elements in the table above: I think you'll be surprised what's lurking behind those little tiles.

And if you like the pictures, you'll love the poster! After years of photography and months of assembling images, I published a photographic periodic table poster based on my collection:
Periodic Table Poster

You can buy a copy right now!

My new book THE ELEMENTS is out!
The Elements cover

My older new book MAD SCIENCE is also available!
Mad Science cover

Notable Links

My periodic table poster.
My museum displays and element sales.
Oliver Sacks came to visit!
My Popular Science column.
TV Appearances
My 2002 Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Newspaper article about my table
Newspaper article about my museum displays
Radio Appearances
Me vs. Brainiac
Site search:

In case you're not seeing the tabletop image above, the following text links will take you to individual elements:

Berkelium, Beryllium, Bismuth, Bohrium, Boron, Bromine, Cadmium, Calcium, Californium, Carbon, Cerium, Cesium, Chlorine, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Curium, Darmstadtium, Dubnium, Dysprosium, Einsteinium, Erbium, Europium, Fermium, Fluorine, Francium, Gadolinium, Gallium, Germanium, Gold, Hafnium, Hassium, Helium, Holmium, Hydrogen, Indium, Iodine, Iridium, Iron, Krypton, Lanthanum, Lawrencium, Lead, Lithium, Lutetium, Magnesium, Manganese, Meitnerium, Mendelevium, Mercury, Molybdenum, Neodymium, Neon, Neptunium, Nickel, Niobium, Nitrogen, Nobelium, Osmium, Oxygen, Palladium, Phosphorus, Platinum, Plutonium, Polonium, Potassium, Praseodymium, Promethium, Protactinium, Radium, Radon, Rhenium, Rhodium, Roentgenium, Rubidium, Ruthenium, Rutherfordium, Samarium, Scandium, Seaborgium, Selenium, Silicon, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Sulfur, Tantalum, Technetium, Tellurium, Terbium, Thallium, Thorium, Thulium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Ununbium, Ununhexium, Ununoctium, Ununpentium, Ununquadium, Ununseptium, Ununtrium, Uranium, Vanadium, Xenon, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zinc, Zirconium, Actinium, Aluminum, Americium, Antimony, Argon, Arsenic, Astatine, Barium.