The Law of Octaves was applicable only up to calcium, as after calcium, every eighth element does not possess properties similar to that of the first.
- In 1866, John Newlands, an English scientist, arranged the then-known elements in the order of increasing atomic masses.
- He started with the element having the lowest atomic mass (hydrogen) and ended at thorium, the 56th element.
- He found that every eighth element had properties similar to that of the first.
- Sodium is the eighth element after lithium.
- To fit elements into his Table, Newlands adjusted two elements in the same slot and put some unlike elements under the same note. The cobalt and nickel are in the same slot and these are placed in the same column as fluorine, chlorine and bromine, which have very different properties than these elements. Iron, which resembles cobalt and nickel in properties, has been placed far away from these elements.
- Thus, Newlands’ Law of Octaves worked well with lighter elements only.