Campus Life

Putting science on display

February 7 is National Periodic Table Day. To celebrate, the U of L is asking for your help to put science on display with an interactive, physical periodic table for the new Science and Academic Building.

The Periodic Table Display project aims to bring the elements to life, sparking interest and conversation for generations of visitors to the new building.

Members of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry are keen to support the Periodic Display Table project.

A group of former staff and faculty members and current faculty members initiated the project and have already shown their support.

Dr. Peter Dibble, Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, says the addition of a periodic table of the calibre that is being donated will really put science on display for southern Alberta.

“I know of other institutions that have these tables and they are magnets to members of the public because they are so interesting and beautiful to look at,” says Dibble. “I think this display will become a regular stop for elementary and high school classes and I intend to develop programs, such as element days, that will feed into such visits and offer members of the public and students to learn about specific elements, how they are used and why they are so important.”

For Dibble, he believes that there is something special in the moment when you first lay your eyes on exactly what an element looks and feels like. Dibble says the feeling ignited by seeing this piece of science is perhaps best summarized by British neurologist, naturalist and author Oliver Sacks.

“In this first, sensuous glance, I saw the table as a gorgeous banquet, a huge table set with eighty-odd different dishes.” (Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sachs, Alfred A Knopf, Toronto, 2001)

To support the Periodic Table Display project, visit:

To learn more about it, please contact Barry Knapp ( or 403-329-2389.