Archive for May, 2013

Mnemonic for periodic table (Hi! He lithely bellowed boringly…)

There are quite a few mnemonics out there for remembering the periodic table (see below), but here is ours. Main features of this are (1) It does not require any filler words, (2) The first two letters of the word (and sometimes more) are generally consistent with either the symbol or the name of the element. The general theme is one of  a car crash-test gone comically wrong.

Crash-test of a 2010 Hyundai Tucson GLS at the...

Crash-test of a 2010 Hyundai Tucson GLS at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Vehicle Research Center. IIHS crash test page Category:Hyundai_Tucson_LM Category:Crash tests Category:Blue SUVs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

H: Hi!,

He: He

Li: lithely

Be: bellowed

B: boringly.

C: Car

N: nicely

O: on

F: fire

Ne: nearby. (Pause for noble gas!)

Na: Nasty

Mg: magnesium

Al: alloys.

Si: Silly

P: people

S: should

Cl: clear

Ar: area. (Health and safety rules.) (Pause for noble gas!)

K: Keep

Ca: calling

Sc: scattering

Ti: titans

V: vandals. (The test scientists are all running away in panic, unfortunately breaking the cables that were recording the crash. Thereafter things quieten down and the tidy-up starts.)

Cr: Crash

Mn: man

Fe: ferries

Co: cobbers. (The cobbers are the crash-test dummies. They are extracted and taken away.)

English: Purple Swamphen feeding chicks, Porph...

Purple Swamphen feeding chicks, Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus; wild birds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ni: Nice

Cu: cute

Zn: zany

Ga: gallinule (a type of marsh bird with purple feathers, Porphyrio porphyrio, New Zealand Pukeko)

Ge: genes

As: are

Se: selecting

Br: broken

Kr: krypton. (A bird is picking through the wreckage looking for super-powers that will help it fly better – gallinules are not great fliers!) (Pause for noble gas!)

That’s all for now!

Try these other mnemonics:

Update 29/11/2013: We created this mnemonic to help remember the order of things during a bigger task, which is to explain the Table of Nuclides (isotopes). You can see the results of this in the following journal paper (open access): Explanation of the Table of Nuclides:  Qualitative nuclear mechanics from a NLHV design. Applied Physics Research, 2013, 5(6), 145-174. doi:


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Will time end, Why, and When?

Illustration of spacetime curvature.

Illustration of spacetime curvature. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The answer to that question depends on what theory you adopt for *time*. In the particular case of the Cordus theory, time is caused by matter, i.e. time is an emergent property of matter, especially discoherent matter.

This is a very different proposition to practically every other  theory of time. The main other theory is to link SPACE and TIME together in the SPACE-TIME concept. This also means that such theories are locked into a concept where time is a continuous variable, and is a dimension. Therein lie a lot of deep problems: first that a continuous or ratio variable is not easy to break into discrete units, and hence the difficulty of reconciling the *time* concepts in general & special relativity with quantum mechanics; second that a dimension implies something that can go backward or forward, and it is not at all apparent that time actually does that, and no one really knows why.

The Cordus theory is different in that it proposes that *time* is the interaction of cause and effect between two pieces of discoherent matter. It provides a natural explanation for the tick of time, rooted in what might generally be considered the de Broglie frequency of matter, and for the one-way direction or arrow of time. The Cordus theory also predicts that time does not work this way for coherent assemblies of matter, which may be falsifiable.  (Coherent matter is a very specialised state of matter that includes superfluids and Bose-Einstein condensates, and is not something that is typically encountered at the macroscopic level of our daily existence).

With that in mind, what does the Cordus theory say about the end of time? Well, with time being a property of matter, it implies that time emerges with matter at genesis, and shares the same fate. Therefore time as we know it will cease when the universe does.

Just how the universe will end is another question altogether. One option is that it will continue to expand, and eventually just wimp out (heat death), in which case Cordus theory predicts time would just slow down to a crawl too. The other option is that the universe collapses in on itself, in which case Cordus theory suggests time would speed up and then suddenly stop altogether. There is a third option, which no-one believes, which is that the universe is static. That seems ruled out by the red-shift.

Those outcomes are unimaginably far into the future, and there are more proximal existential threats to worry about. More interesting to us in the present epoch of the universe, is another curious prediction of the Cordus time theory. This is that there is no time (as we know it) outside the universe, i.e. beyond the cosmological boundary (DOI: This  means that there is no time in the void into which the universe is expanding. Likewise for a being outside the universe (God) there need be no time either (atemporal). There are some interesting philosophical implications of this. We will leave that discussion for another day.

Read more about the Cordus theory here:

Pons, D.J. (2013) What really is time? A multiple-level ontological theory for time as a property of matter. vixra, 1-40 DOI:

Pons, D.J. and A.D. Pons (2013) Outer boundary of the expanding cosmos: Discrete fields and implications for the holographic principle vixra (1303.0017), p. 1-26, DOI: Available from:

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