One of the latest in a long tradition of beautifully unconventional periodic tables, this minimalist design from graphic artist Alison Haigh may be the most elementary take on elements we've seen yet.

You'll find no elemental names on the London-based designer's periodic table. You won't encounter any numerals, either – Arabic or Roman. Atomic numbers are nowhere to be found. Periods and groups go unlabeled, as do the s-, d-, p-, and f-blocks.


What you will find are dots, which correspond to each element's electron configuration as conceived under the theoretically outdated, but still instructively useful, Bohr model. Hydrogen, for example, carries a single electron in its first energy level, which is represented with a single dot (think Dr. Manhattan). Other elements with more electrons in higher energy levels appear on Haigh's chart exactly where they would on any other periodic table, but with nothing more than their electron configuration. Pictured at the top of this post is Copernicium, which carries 112 electrons across an hypothesized seven energy levels. Compare it to the electronic configuration on the left (lifted form the element's Wikipedia page) and you'll understand where Haigh's design concept stems from.

Over at Popular Science, Rose Pastore calls this layout "beautiful [and] easy-to-read." We agree with the first part, but Haigh's concept is clearly geared more toward form than function. Sure, you can infer things like atomic number, and even whether you're dealing with, say, a transition metal (if you know little tricks like the 18-electron rule) – but that's obviously asking a lot of the chart-viewer. A beautiful addition to any office – but definitely not something you want to bring to your next chemistry midterm.


See more of Haigh's work over on her website.

h/t PopSci