List of Physical Visualizations
and Related Artifacts

1898 – Crookes' Vis Generatrix


Model of Crookes’ "Vis Generatrix" made in 1898, built by his assistant, Gardiner. From: Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 63, 408.

The vertical scale represents the atomic weight of the elements from H = 1 to Ur = 239. Missing elements are represented with a white circle. Similar elements appear underneath each other. With this model, Crookes was trying to visualize the hypothetical relationship between various elements in three dimensions. 

See all the other entries with the tag "periodic table" to see other historical examples. 


  1. Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths, Volume 41 page 45.
  2. "Types of graphic classifications of the elements. III. Spiral, helical, and miscellaneous charts." Journal of Chemical Education 11, no. 5 (1934): 288.
  3. Principles of General Chemistry, made available by Andy Schmitz ( Chapter 7 - The Periodic Table and Periodic Trends

Added by: Fanny Chevalier. Category: Passive physical visualization  Tags: chemistry, crooke, generatrix, periodic table