The Faculty of Chemistry inaugurates a mural of a 'Table of Affinities'

  • Press Office
  • April 15th, 2019
La rectora, la degana i el representant de Torrecid.
La rectora, la degana i el representant de Torrecid.

On Monday the Faculty of Chemistry inaugurated a mural of the 'Table of Affinities'. The event is part of the celebrations of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, which takes place in 2019.

The mural was inaugurated in the lobby of Building F of the Faculty of Chemistry. It has been sponsored by the company Torrecid and is a reproduction of the 'Table of Affinities' developed by Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau, Hugues Maret and Jean-François Durande in their book 'Elements of theoretical and practical chemistry: put into a new order after the most modern discoveries', printed in Madrid in 1788 by Benito Cano, of which a copy is preserved in the Historical Library of the Universitat de València

The rector of the University of Valencia, Mª Vicenta Mestre, has highlighted the active role of the university in the last 150 years of the Periodic Table.  She also congratulated the dean, Adela Mauri, "for the dynamism of some studies and a faculty that continue to bet on an international reference vision, obtaining recognitions such as the Eurobachelor international quality label and new collaboration agreements that allow us to extend our research as well as universities in the international sphere".

On the other hand, the rector thanked Torrecid for its collaboration in territorial development processes based on multiple helix models and "to make possible this reproduction of the table of affinities, which connects a historical reality with the most advanced technical reproduction techniques". Finally, she also stressed the importance of the historical library not only as the repository and conservator of our legacy, but also as the driving force behind its access and contemporary use.

Introduced at the beginning of the 18th century, affinity tables became common in laboratories and chemistry classrooms in the second half of the 18th century. They disappeared at the beginning of the following century. The tables include the main chemical substances used during those years.  They report the reactions of the chemicals in the first row with those underneath.  Within each column it has represented a decreasing "affinity" order of the products indicated with the substance located in the first row. The tables were modified and extended with new experimental data obtained from the laboratories.

This table is one of the first to contain the modern chemical terminology of 1787, although mixed with symbols and names of alchemical origin.

In addition to the inauguration, another of the activities is the reproduction in ceramic tiles of the alchemical symbols of the elements included in the 'Table of Affinities': Pb, Ag, Au, Hg, Cu, Sb, Zn, S, Fe and Sn. The reproductions have been made by the ceramist of l'Alcúdia Mariapi Miquel and Antich and will be on sale from Monday 15th at the Universitat’s shop in the offices of calle de la Nau and the Campus of Burjassot-Paterna.

The ceremony was attended by the rector, Mavi Mestre; Javier Gasch, from Torrecid; Victoria García Esteve, director of the University's Library and Documentation Service; and Adela Mauri, dean of the Faculty of Chemistry.