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Encontrado Chem
https://Doi.org/10.1007/s10698-018-9319-6
http://CROSSMARK

La teoría de la red: un nuevo lenguaje para hablar sobre las


relaciones de elementos químicos a través de compuestos binarios esteq

Rosana del P. Suárez1

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Abstracto Tradicionalmente, el estudio de los elementos químicos se ha limitado a


conceptos bien conocidos como las propiedades periódicas y las familias químicas. Sin embargo, la info
muestra un lenguaje nuevo y rico que nos permite observar las relaciones en los elementos
que no se limitan a sus posiciones en la tabla. Estas relaciones son evidentes cuando las
reacciones se representan a través de redes, como en el caso de una reactividad similar de los
compuestos orgánicos que comparten grupos funcionales. Durante las últimas dos décadas,
se ha argumentado que las reac-ciones de la red pueden ser consideradas el núcleo de la
química. Esta red, que constituye el conjunto básico de conocimientos químicos,
proporciona la base para la clasificación y ofrece rutas para obtener nuevas y conocidas
sustancias. Con el fin de dar un ejemplo, construimos y analizamos una red de elementos
químicos de la formación de compuestos binarios estequiométricos, proporcionando a la
química, una estructura formal de extracción del conocimiento químico. Por lo tanto,
exploramos toda la posible presencia de relaciones entre los elementos. Se analizaron
P s Dde Flos grados, las relaciones entre las
conceptos como la centralidad y la centralización
tógenos, calcogens, halógenos, lanthanoides > otras familias. Este ejemplo muestra, desde
clases de metales, semimetálicos y no metálicos, los bloques y las familias químicas.
la perspectiva de la red, que los elementos y sus clasificaciones exhiben propiedades como la reactivida
Observamos que el Struc-ture de la red tenía un pequeño conjunto central de elementos de alta reactivida

Palabras claveTabla periódica · Elementos químicos · Compuestos binarios estequiométricos ·


Teoría de la red

* Rosana del P. Suárez


rosanadsuarez@gmail.com
1
Laboratoriodequímicateórica,UniversidaddePamplona,Km1víaBucaramanga,Pamplona,Colombia

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R.

Introducción

Las sustancias químicas están relacionadas a través de reacciones químicas, generando lo que
Joachim Schummer ha llamado "el núcleo químico de la química": una red que construye la
base del conocimiento químico (Schummer 1998). Por lo tanto, las similitudes en las
posiciones de las sustancias químicas en esta red han permitido a los químicos para
construir clasificaciones de sustancias químicas (por ejemplo, aldehídos, cetonas, ésteres,
etc.) y para entregar rutas para Synthe-tamaño ellos (Schummer 1998). El conocimiento
generado desde esta perspectiva ha revelado patrones que han prevalecido durante más de
un siglo, a pesar de una plétora de sustancias recién sintetizadas. En años más recientes, el
modelado de redes se ha formalizado, se ha matemáticamente y se ha empezado a aplicar
con éxito en la química. Por ejemplo, la red de química orgánica (NOC) (Fialkowski et al.
2005) proyecto ha construido una red de alrededor de 5 millones sustancias y 9 millones
reacciones y encontró que presenta un comportamiento similar a otros sistemas complejos
como Internet, metabólicas redes sociales, y las utiliza para desarrollar algoritmos para
encontrar rutas sintéticas que satisfagan las necesidades de las empresas del sector
productivo (Bishop et al. 2006; Grzybowski et al. 2009; Gothard et al. 2012 y Kowalik et
A pesar de estos éxitos y cuán fundamental es la perspectiva de la red para la química,
al. 2012). Otros resultados del enfoque de la red son los estudios farmacológicos y celulares (interacc
todavía hay muy pocos estudios que vinculan el análisis de la red moderna con los
conceptos básicos de la química, posiblemente porque tales conceptos se consideran una
materia ya resuelta . Este es el caso de la tabla periódica, que tiene sus orígenes en el siglo
17 y se mejoró en el siglo 19 cuando los científicos comenzaron a observar similitudes y
patrones entre los elementos. Por lo tanto, Mendeleev, que estableció la base de su estudio a
través de una visión de los elementos como sustancias químicas, se le atribuye el
acontecimiento más importante en la historia de la tabla periódica (Dushman 1916). Mostró
la presencia de diferentes tipos de relaciones, como las tendencias periódicas y las
similitudes entre las familias
Esto ha motivado químicasque
nuevos estudios (Scerri 2007). Sineste
han retomado embargo, este conocimiento
logro seminal se
a través de una
construyó fundamentalmente
visión sistém conquímicos
ica de los elementos la información de la 19ªcon
relacionados CEN-Tury, por lo que
sus propiedades. la cuestión
Estos estudios actual es si
se han llevado a cabo combinando modelado de redes, técnicas de clustering y un enfoque
topológico, lo que ha permitido una nueva comprensión de la tabla periódica. Restrepo et al.
(2004), por ejemplo, mostró una relación entre las invariantes topológicas y los grupos
periódicos. Utilizando redes neuronales, Chen (2010) representaba un mapa bidimensional
que mostraba las interacciones entre los elementos; Esto condujo a la confirmación de la
Estos investigadores
existencia han encontrado
del principio singu-larity y lasrelaciones
relacionessimilares entre
diagonales. losúltimo,
Por elementos
leal etaal.
travé s de demostró qu
(2012)
sus prop-erties; sin embargo, todavía hay preguntas sin respuesta que no se limitan sólo a las
POSI-CIONES de los elementos químicos en la tabla periódica (Chen 2010). De esta
manera, la presente investigación busca, a través de las redes de reacciones y herramientas de
las matemáticas modernas, fortalecer los conceptos básicos de la química. Aplicando la teoría de la red

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La teoría de la red: un nuevo idioma para hablar de productos químicos..

la tabla periódica, que confirma que los modelos y métodos importados de análisis de red son
adecuados para el estudio de fenómenos químicos en el nivel más fundamental. En el
complemento, se muestran las posibles soluciones que permiten resolver disputas que
cubren los conceptos de la tabla periódica. Finalmente, podemos hacer nuevas declaraciones
sobre los patrones bien conocidos de los elementos químicos. Todo esto muestra la riqueza teórica del n

Metodología

Fundamentos metodológicos: Análisis de red

En Sociología, Antropología, matemáticas y Ciencias de la computación, ha sido posible


entender el comportamiento de los diferentes sistemas mediante la aplicación de la teoría
de la red. Desde un punto de vista matemático, una red puede definirse como un gráfico,
es decir,
En esteuntrabajo,
conjunto de actores
la teoría (vertexes),
de la red vinculados
facilitó el estudio deentre sí a través de
94 elementos delauntabla
conjunto de relaciones (
periódica
mediante el análisis de su capacidad para formar compuestos binarios a través de una red.
Así, se analizaron las nuevas relaciones que surgen de sus interacciones. Se estudiaron la
centralidad, el grado de centralización y las clasificaciones: metales, no metálicos y
semimetálicos, bloques y familias de la mesa peri-ódica. Usamos estos elementos para
representar los vértices; la Unión de cada par de elementos que forman al menos un
compuesto binario estequiométrico se usó para representar los bordes. Estos bordes fueron
construidos utilizando la base de datos leal et al. (2012) que cubre un total de 4700 compuestos estequio
X = { H, Li, be, B, C, N, O, F, na, mg, al, si, P, S, cl, K, CA, SC, ti, V, CR, M, fe, Co,
,iN ,uC ,Z ,AG ,BR ,rS ,Y ,RZ ,BN ,OM ,CT ,UR ,HR ,DP ,TP ,DC ,I ,S ,BS ,et ,I ,EX
CS, BA, la, CE, PR, ND, PM, SM, EU, GD, TB, DY, Ho, ER, TM, YB, Lu, HF, TA, W, re,
Os, ir, PT, au, Hg, TL, PB, BI, Po, at, RA, AC, TH, PA, U, NP, PU, AM, cm, BK, CF, es }

Un ejemplo de prueba para explicar cómo se muestra la construcción de la red de


1
elementos químicos de la formación de compuestos binarios estequiométricos. Dado un conjunto de com
libras A2k 6, A5k 9, A10k 14, HF, LiF, LiH} y sus elementos {,,,},
B H es
F decir,
Li vertexes,
los bordes de la red se construyeron conectando con una línea cada par de elementos de forma-
Ing al menos un compuesto binario. Así, la Unión de todos los elementos y sus conexiones
construye la red de la Fig. 1; Aquí el grado de cada elemento es el número de líneas que
tiene. B tiene grado 1, F y Li tiene grado 2, H tiene grado 3; Estos números expresan que
H es el elemento que forma un mayor número de compuestos binarios (generando compuestos que son qu

1
La base de datos de leal et al. (2012) utilizado en esta investigación consiste en 4700 estequiométricos de
com-libra binaria, basado en la comprensión de que un compuesto binario está formado por dos elementos químicos diferen
tiene un vínculo químico y hay un cambio en la naturaleza química de los elementos. Sin embargo, esta base
de datos no incluye compuestos intermetálicos; por esta razón, es interesante evaluar la presencia de
compuestos binarios no-Sto-ichiométricos e intermetálicos utilizando la teoría de la red. En este documento,
los compuestos estequiométricos son sólo una muestra, pero tomando compuestos no estequiométricos y estequiométricos, se

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R. P. Suárez

Fig. 1 Example of network for-


mation of stoichiometric binary
compounds, where the letters,
represent the vertexes of network
elements and the lines, the edges
or existence of at least one binary
compound between pairs of ele-
ments. The graphic program used
was Pajek64 4.05

Centrality and centralization degree of the network of chemical elements

Within the chemical network there are vertexes that are considered the center of the net-
work, i.e. those chemical elements that interact with a lot of elements within the network,
easily forming a large number and diversity of binary compounds; this is reflected by the
degree of each chemical element, where those are considered the most central, they will
have greater degree. In this work the chemical elements were assessed according to their
centrality to find the most central elements that form the most diverse binary compounds, in
The centralization degree of a network is the variation in the degrees of vertexes divided
other words, it shows the more reactive chemical elements.
by the maximum variation degree, which is possible in a network of the same size (Nooy
et al. 2006). In this work 3 aspects were evaluated: 1) if the network has a few key elements
to form as many binary compounds (centralized network); 2) if it shows a large set of basic
elements for this training (decentralized network); or 3) if there are not core elements and
all are on average the same number of binary compounds (distributed network). This cen-
∑�V� et al. 2006).
tralization was calculated from Eq. 1 (Nooy (gmax − g(i))
DC = i=1 (1)
(�V � − 1)(�V � − 2)

where DC is the degree centralization, gmax is the maximum degree that a vertex has in
the network, g( i) is the degree of the selected|V|
vertex and is the number of vertexes of
the network.
The maximum value of the degree of centralization is one (DC = 1), which shows that
there is a single central vertex connected to all vertexes of the network and the minimum
value is zero (DC = 0), which shows the behavior of an equally connected network where
there are no central vertexes.

Relations
within the network
of chemical
elements
using
the classifications:
metals,
nonmetals
and semimetals,
blocks
and families
of the periodic
table

The network was partitioned from three common classifications in literature: metal,
semimetal and nonmetal classes, blocks , s , pand
d , and
f the families of the periodic
table. Then, each class was analyzed in the network by placing the most central ele-
ments in the center and less central elements to the periphery. It was observed whether
there was any pattern among classes for the ability of an element to form binary com-
pounds. Likewise, each class was reduced to a single vertex containing the connections

13
The network theory: a new language for speaking about chemical…

Fig. 2 Network of chemical elements from the stoichiometric binary compounds. Red circles show the chemical elements

least one binary compound. The graphic program used was Pajek64 4.05. (Color figure online)

with at least one element forming a binary compound in order to study the class to class
interactions and in doing so, we found the most connected chemical families and the
preferences of each family to form binary compounds with the other families. In addi-
tion, the percentage of connections that each pair of families presented was calculated.
This percentage was related the number of connections between all the elements of each family and

Results and discussion

Network topological structure of the chemical elements: centrality


and centralization degree
Figure  2 shows the network of chemical elements from the formation of stoichiomet- ric binary
compounds. This network has a degree centralization of 0.772; this num- ber expresses that the
network is highly centralized, according to the classifications of Sueur et al. (2012). So, there are
few key elements that are the base for the formation of binary compounds. Besides, it allows the
connecting of the other chemical elements. It was found that the group of elements which domina
the reactions within the net- work through the centrality degree, thus H, S, I, Cl, Br, O, F are the
most reactive in the network and are called the core elements of the network, since they form
stoichiometric binary compounds with at least 70 elements out of the 94 used in the research; thi
fact is probably explained by their high electronegativity. This reactivity decreases as we arrive

13
R. P. Suárez

Fig. 3 Network of chemical elements from the stoichiometric binary compounds, partitioned into three groups: metals in y

Pajek64 4.05. (Color figure online)

instability
of
At,
Acand
Racharacterized
by
having
spontaneous
a disintegration
of
the
nucleus,
as
was
stated
by
Firsching
(1981).

Relations among metals, nonmetals and semimetals within the network

The network of chemical elements was partitioned into three classes, metals, semimet- als
and nonmetals in order to study their relationships. However, in theory, there is no
unequivocal agreement defining the elements that belong to the semimetal class. Conse-
quently, Vernon (2013) through a large number of reviews in the literature, found that the
most common semimetals elements considered by researchers are: B, Si, Ge, As, Sb, Te;
these elements follow the criteria of Masterton and Slowinski (1977) on the characteristics
expected of a semimetal. However, Vernon (2013) considered that At could be a semimetal because it h

The research performed by Vernon (2013), was used to partition the network of chem- ical
elements in classes metal (yellow), semimetal (green) and nonmetal (blue) (Fig.  3). Herein, the
nonmetals are gathered in the center of the network and characterized by forming binary
compounds with a large number of different elements; this fact implies that these are considered the
most reactive. They are followed by semimetal elements and finally by metallic elements located
towards the periphery and forming a few binary com- pounds. Significantly, in the semimetal class A

Given the connectivity of the classes: metal, semimetal and nonmetal, it is important to
ask what would happen if the nonmetallic and semimetallic elements of the network are
eliminated? It is observed that the network is disconnected almost completely (Fig. 4). Thus, the semim

13
The network theory: a new language for speaking about chemical…

Fig. 4 Disconnecting the network of chemical elements from the stoichiometric binary compounds, through eliminating th

elements(yellowcircles)aredisconnectedalmostcompletely.ThegraphicprogramusedwasPajek644.05.(Colorfigureonline)

compounds. It is important to highlight that nonmetal and semimetal classes contain only
20 out of the 94 network elements. It is also interesting to note that Bi and Po (elements
highly discussed by not having a single position in these classes) are connected to a large
number of metallic elements similar to semimetals. Given these results, the criteria of
Vernon (2013) might be reconsidered due to consistent results with the work of Rochow (1966) and Ca

Furthermore, it is observed that semimetals and nonmetals have interclass and intraclass
interactions, possibly because these groups are more electronegative elements, which allow
for forming such connections. Interclass refers to relations between classes, such as the
relations between elements of the metal and nonmetal classes; while intraclass refers to the relationship

According to the chemical similarity intraclass, one could say that Ge shows little simi-
larity to the semimetallic elements because it just has connections with nonmetals and very few with m

Additionally, the elements analyzed are similar to the class semimetal from their chemi-
cal properties and their interactions in this study are: B, Si, As, Sb, Te. Noble gases exhibit
reactivity opposite to members of the nonmetal class because of their electronic stability
which gives them their full octet. This clearly shows that there are reactivity characteristics that define m

Relations among the blocks of the periodic table

Currently, there are four main blocks for chemical elements according to the order of the
periodic table; in this way, the blocks are named according to the furthest orbital that makes the atom o
s p d f
et al. 2005).
Figure  5 shows the partition of the blocks on the network of chemical elements. We observed that th
p
since most of its elements form a large number of binary compounds, except for the noble

13
R. P. Suárez

Fig. 5 Network of chemical elements from the stoichiometric binary compounds, partitioned into four
blocks: s-block (orange), p-block (light blue), d-block (green) and f-block (fuchsia). The graphic program
used was Pajek64 4.05. (Color figure online)

Fig. 6 Network of chemical


elements from the stoichiometric
binary compounds reduced in
four blocks: s-block (orange),
p-block (light blue), d-block
(green) and f-block (fuchsia). The
numbers represent the percent- ages
(%) of connectivity between the
elements of each pair of blocks. The
graphic program used was Pajek64 4.05. (Color figure online)

gases
and
At.
These
elements
have
an
atypical
behavior
possibly
due
their
to electronic
sta-
bility
and
nuclear
instability.
The
following
-block,
the
is which
in wepoint
out
the
high
s
reactivity of H because it tends to behave more like the p-block elements and the low reac-
tivity of Ra, possibly because of its nuclear instability. Furthermore, d-block has heteroge-
neous
connections,
because
there
are
elements
with
high
reactivity
and
low
reactivity
the
with
network.Finally,
-block
the
considered
is the
less
reactive
these
in classes
since
most
f
of its elements show very little interaction compared to other blocks; it should be noted that
half of the elements of this class are radioactive and little abundant in nature, and therefore, present littl

The elements of each block were reduced to a single vertex, where each vertex contains
all relationships of the elements of this block. In addition, the percentage of elements that interact betw

• form at least one stoichiometric binary compound with the elements s-block elem
that have in their most exterior layer the , or dorbitals.
f However, the relations p

13
The network theory: a new language for speaking about chemical…

Fig. 7 Long Form Periodic Table of chemical elements according to IUPAC. Two options for Group 3 are
presented:
a option 1, which includes the elements Sc, Y, Lu, Lr and b option 2, which includes the ele-
ments Sc, Y, La, Ac. The graphic program used was PowerPoint 2013

between s y p are highlighted, since more than half of their elements form binary com-
pounds, compared to the relations s, d and s, f. This is possible due to their differences
in electronegativity which make them more compatible to join.
• p-block elements form at least one stoichiometric binary compound with the elements
that have in their most exterior layer the ,s or
d orbital.
f Thus, it is observed that the
elements of the p and sblock have more than 50% affinity to interact with each other, as
well as the elements of block p and d that present around 48% of the interactions. This
shows the strongly electronegative character of half of the elements in this block to form
stoichiometric binary compounds.
• form at least one stoichiometric binary compound with the
d-block and f-block elements exterior layer the or porbitals in similar proportions, s
elements that have in their most
being more compatible with the elements of block p than with block s. Both groups
share the same type of relationships, however, it should be noted that there is not at least
one element that forms binary stoichiometric compounds, possibly this is due to there
have been very few chemical studies of substances already that are radioactive and
scarce.
Relations among the families of the periodic table

The elements of the periodic table are arranged in order of increasing atomic number. The
rows are called periods and the columns are called groups or families. Thus, elements with
similar chemical properties are in the same group of elements. According to the Interna-
tional Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), there are 18 families and two chem-
ical groups known as lanthanoids and actinoids (Connelly et al. 2005; IUPAC 2016). How-
ever, the scandium family (family 3) shows two possible classifications made by IUPAC,
involving lanthanoids and actinoids. Option 1 covers Sc, Y, Lu, Lr elements (Fig. 7a) and
13
R. P. Suárez

Fig. 8 Network of chemical elements from the stoichiometric binary compounds, according to the IUPAC a
chemical families: option 1, boption 2. The Graphic program used was Pajek64 4.05

option 2 the Sc, Y, La, Ac elements (Fig. 7b). Consequently, two partitions on the network
with option 1 (Fig. 8a) and option 2 (Fig. 8b) according to the IUPAC were made (IUPAC
2016).
So, through the connections of Fig.  8 and the distribution of the elements of the
chemical families distinguished by colors (of greater connections in the center and
minors in the periphery), it was found that the elements of each family have similari- ties
in their connections, since they have a number of similar connections and they are close
between one another in the network of Fig. 8. Also, some important exceptions are those
such as Ra of the family of alkaline earth metals (family 2) and At family of halo- gens
(family 17), due to their nuclear instability. Furthermore, for both classifications, a much
larger similarity was observed between Sc and Y with Lu that Sc and Y with La, since
13
Lu presents numbers and types of connections similar to this pair of elements. In
The network theory: a new language for speaking about chemical…

Fig. 9 Network of chemical elements from the stoichiometric binary compounds, reduced according to the IUPAC chemic

elements of each pair of families. The graphic program used was Pajek64 4.05

this way, option 1 established by IUPAC was selected to understand the relationships
between chemical families, shown below, given their greater similarity. Thus, the ele-
ments of each chemical family were reduced to a single vertex so that the reduced vertex
had a connection to another family, as shown in Fig.  9. The condition is that each family
has at least one of its elements connected to a different family. In addition, on the edge was placed th

From this reduction and its support it can be observed that families located at the
center of the network are the most reactive, such as the families of the boron group (13),
carbon group (14), pnictogens (15), chalcogen (16), halogens (17) and lanthanoids (19),
since they interact with the greatest number of chemical families and between each pair
of families they form compounds superior to 70% of the relationships. Also, it was
observed that those families are located on the periphery of the network as alkali metals (1), alkalin

The network of chemical elements grouped and reduced from the families of the peri-
odic table allowed to study not only the number of connections that each family has, but also what fami

• are characterized by forming at least The familie


one stoichiometric binary compound with the families of the alkaline earth metals (13),
carbon (14), pnictogens (15), chalcogens (16), halogens (17) and lanthanoids (19). However, strong

13
R. P. Suárez

• The families of alkaline earth metals (2), scandium (3), titanium (4), vanadium (5),
chrome (6) and nickel (10) are characterized by forming at least one stoichiometric
binary compound with alkali metals (1), boron (13), carbon (14), pnictogens (15), chal-
cogens (16) and halogens (17). However, stronger interactions greater than 65% of con-
nections are shown between chalcogens (16) and halogens (17) with earth metals (2),
scandium (3), vanadium (5) and chrome (6); and pnictogens (15) and halogens (17)
• The
withfamilies of manganese
interactions (7),
greater than 70%ironwith
(8) titanium
and cobalt
(4) (9)
andare characterized
nickel (10). by forming at
least one stoichiometric binary compounds with the families of the boron (13), carbon
(14), pnictogens (15), chalcogens (16) and halogens (17). These last three families pre-
• sent interactions greater than 60% among these
is characterized families.
by forming at least one stoichiometric binary
compound with the families
The family of copper (11) of the alkali metals (1), carbon (14), pnictogens (15), chal-
cogens (16) and halogens (17). However, families 14, 16 and 17 show the strongest
• interactions, greater thanis50% of the connections
characterized by formingwith
at this
leastfamily.
one stoichiometric binary
compound with the families
The family of zinc (12) of the alkali metals (1), pnictogens (15), chalcogens (16)
and halogens (17). However, families 16 and 17 show the strongest interactions, greater
• than 80% of the connections with this family.
is characterized by forming at least one stoichiometric binary
compound with all families
The family of boron (13) except for the families of copper (11) zinc (12) and the
noble gases (18). However, families 15, 16 and 17 show the strongest interactions,
• greater than 70% of the connections with this
is characterized by family.
forming at least one stoichiometric binary
compound with all families
The family of carbon (14) except for families of zinc (12) and noble gases (18). How-
ever, families 16 and 17 show the strongest interactions, greater than 80% of the con-
• nections with this family. are characterized by forming at
The families of pnictogens (15) and chalcogens (16) except for the family of the
least one stoichiometric binary compound with all families
noble gases (18). However, families 16 and 17 show the strongest interactions, greater
than 50% of the connections with 15, 17 and 19 show the strongest interactions, greater
than family
• The 70% with
of 16.
halogens (17) is characterized by forming at least one stoichiometric
binary compound with all families. However, families 14, 16 and 17 show the strongest
• interactions,
The family ofgreater
noble than
gases50%
(18)ofisthe connectionsby
characterized with this family.
forming at least one stoichiometric
binary compound with the family of halogens (17) with interactions greater than 20%.
• is characterized by forming at least one stoichiometric
The family of lanthanoids (19) except for the families of manganese (7), iron (8),
binary compound with all families
cobalt (9) and noble gases (18). However, the strongest interactions, greater than 70%
are with 16 and 17.
This paper offers the application of contemporary mathematics of network theory to the
study of the periodic table, using methods that have not been applied before in the basic
concepts of chemistry and that are based on the chemical properties seen from the point of
view of the reactions, that is, the interactions between substances. In addition, these results
show that the view of the network and the use of network theory as a mathematical tool
positively impact the study of the periodic table, introducing concepts that show reactiv- ity,
similarity and order in the elements and in the chemical classes. It gives a new texture
13
The network theory: a new language for speaking about chemical…

to the cornerstone of chemical theory, to the periodic table and a new vision to the basic
concepts of this science.

Summary

This research agrees with widely accepted facts about the periodic table, which confirms
that models and methods imported from network analysis are adequate for the study of
chemical phenomena at the most fundamental level. Some other results contribute to the
settlement of controversies between competing hypotheses in that field, which proves that
the new approach can be of value, and some other results confirm new statements about
well-known patterns of the chemical elements, which shows that the new approach is theo-
retically rich with the capacity to produce statements about nature. For this reason, network
theory can be proposed for exploring the knowledge in the relations among chemical ele-
ments. This research gives the teaching of chemistry a way to develop knowledge with the
From an integral perspective, the relationships emerging from the interactions among
help of network theory as a tool for extracting concepts and patterns known and even
chemical elements by using their ability to form chemical properties as the formation of
unknown to chemistry.
stoichiometric binary compounds is shown. In this way, this research validates the philo-
sophical ideas proposed by Schummer (1998) about “The Chemical Core of Chemistry”.
The emerging properties found from interactions of the chemical elements and the well-
known three classifications in the periodic table showed that:
1. The network consists of two types of elements with opposite characteristics, the core
consisting of: H, S, I, Cl, Br, O, F is characterized by its high reactivity while the periph-
ery: Ac, Kr, Xe,the
2. Considering At,three
Ra isclasses:
characterized
metal, by its low and
nonmetal reactivity.
semimetal, there is an order of
chemical reactivity with the elements of each class by forming stoichiometric binary
compounds according to the database of Leal et al. (2012). These relationships show that
nonmetals are the most reactive, followed by semimetals and finally metals. This
sequence of reactivity is based on the physical characteristics that typically define these
classes of substances where the metals and nonmetals show opposite characteristics and
the semimetals exhibit properties of both classes. In addition, it should be considered that
3. The
the noble s, p, ,dAt,fand
blocksgases, viewed
Ra, through the network
do not resemble, of chemical
chemically, elements,ofshow
the elements thesethat the
three
elements in the last level, which are located in the p orbital, are the most reactive fol-
classes since At and Ra’s reactivity is really low.
lowed by the orbitals: s, d and f. Also, the Block model analysis of compounds classified
in the s, p, d, and fblocks, yielded an almost complete graph: only the link between the
d and f type compounds is missing. This is possible by the chemical character similarity
between block d and f.
4. According to the classification of the IUPAC, the families of the boron (13), carbon
(14), pnictogens (15), chalcogens (16), halogens (17) and lanthanoids (19) are the most
reactive in the network, and the remaining families, mostly formed by transition metals
(3–12), alkali metals (1), alkaline earth metals (2) and actinoids (20) are families with
low reactivity that rely on the network of central families to form stoichiometric binary
compounds.
13
R. P. Suárez

Acknowledgements R. Suarez thanks Leal et al. for allowing using their database stoichiometric binary
compounds, and Nancy Y. Quintero, Joachim Schummer, Eugenio Llanos, Tatiana Suárez and Guillermo
Restrepo, for their contributions, valuable discussions and useful reviews given to this research.

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