The Circular Model of the Atom is a circular periodic table that shows atomic structure in addition to periodicity. Unlike any other periodic table or model, it demonstrates that the atomic structure has an inherent dipole magnet that create positve and negative fields and elemental qualities at the atomic level.

The Circular Model of the Atom was created by Helen A. Pawlowski in the 1980s, and published in her work, Visualization of the Atom. Her brother, Paul A. Williams extended many of Helen's ideas with his examination of the standard model using Helen's Circular Atom Model. This website contains some of Helen's ideas and Paul's writings.


Binding energy drops off between carbon and nitrogen and silicon and potassium is explained.

The model correctly accounts for the Madelung-rule (or Goudsmit rule).

The model provides an explanation for the lanthanide contraction.





In 1921, the Stern-Gerlach experiment results were inexplicable from then current classical models and the results became part of the quantum description of the atom and of the theory.  Otto Stern devised a non-homogenous magnet experiment, (one pole to a linear point and the opposite pole flat), where in vaporized silver atoms in a small stream were drawn through a magnetic field in a vacuum chamber.  It had the effect of lining up the silver atoms along a specific coordinate. At the target area, a classical result would have had a large number of silver atoms impacting at the center and decreasing amounts flaring to the outer radius of the target area.  Much to Stern's and Gerlach's surprise the results showed a splitting of the impact area and atoms not hitting at the center target area.  Quantum theorists have used this experiment as the basis for space quantization asserting only quantum theory and philosophy can explain the results. The two trace marks left on the silver target area were explained in strict quantum terms when Uhlenbeck and Goudschmidt discovered electron spin.  The electrons hit the target area leaving the two trace marks which were the result of the + 1/2 or - 1/2 spin of the electrons. The above phenomena can be deciphered by using a dipolar atom model as depicted by the Circular Model. A basic feature is a positive-negative magnetic polarity within each atom.           

Where does the magnetic moment originate?  The quantum probability electron cloud of smeared electrons does not address the issue. Gerhard Herzberg's classic book on atomic spectra and structure suggests, “There is also the further fact that the magnetic moment is produced by inner electrons” [1]. The Circular Model of the Atom has a feature common to all atoms, namely, a positive and negative polarity field. As more and more electrons are added for the various elements, a flip occurs in crossing the polarity line that results in electrons being either +1/2 orientation in the positive field or -1/2 orientation in the negative field.  The law of alternation of multiplicities operates here. A result is that all elements have this polarity feature and that all elements going through a Stern-Gerlach experiment will have traces appearing on the target area from the two types of spin.  The various trace patterns are a result of a dipole atom with positive and negative fields which when coupled with the various elements angular momentum give the distinct configuration of the traces.  A dipole approach does not require elimination of classical concepts.  True, early classical atomic descriptions were not sufficient to explain Stern-Gerlach, but neither has quantum theory been complete.  The Circular Model gives the visual certitude that early classical and present quantum theory lack.

[1] Herzberg, G., 1944. Atomic Spectra & Atomic Structure. New York: Prentice-Hall, p. 208.




1. Atoms are dipole magnets at the atomic level.

2. Demonstrates Hund's half filled shells, electron tunneling, and a visulalizable aufbau buildup of the elements.

3. Visual explanation of Anomalous Zeeman Effect.

4. Strong and weak patterns revealed.

5. Lanthanide contraction is explained.

6. Provides a visual basis for ferromagenetism, paramagnetism and antiferromagnetism.