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.




Thomson effect: "A phenomenon discovered in 1854 by William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin. He found that there occurs a reversible transverse heat flow into or out of a conductor of a particular metal, the direction depending upon whether a longitudinal electric current flows from colder to warmer metal or from warmer to colder.

From these observations it may be shown that for copper there is a heat output where positive charge flows down a temperature gradient and a heat input where positive charge flows up a temperature gradient:  whereas for iron the reverse is true.  All metals may be divided into two classes with respect to the direction of the Thomson effect" [1].

A second scholar has noted and illustrated about the Thomson effect: "As in the preceding section, absorption of heat is to be taken as evidence for an emf that is acting in the same direction as that of the current, that is to say, electrical energy is being supplied at the expense of heat energy of the environment. Such is the case in the section AB.  Likewise in the section AC, the current is opposed by an emf with consequent transformation of electrical energy into heat energy.  Thus, in iron, the Thomson emf would give rise to a current in the iron from hot to cold regions.  Many metals, including bismuth, cobalt, nickel and platinum, in addition to iron exhibit this same property, which is referred to as the negative Thomson effect.  Another group of metals including antimony, cadmium, copper, and silver, display a positive Thomson effect; in these, the direction of the Thomson emf is such as to support a current within the metal from cold to hot regions. In one metal, lead, the Thomson effect is zero.  In certain metals the effect reverses sign as the temperature is raised or as the crystal structure is altered" [2].

In the Thomson experiment a current passes through an metal rod "which is bent into a U-shape. Resistance coils, R1 and R2 are wound about the two sides of the Us as shown. These form two arms of a balanced Wheatstone bridge. The bottom of the U is then heated. This establishes two temperature gradients--a positive one extending from A to C, and a negative one extending from C to B. As a result of this operation, the bridge becomes unbalanced in such a direction as to indicate that the resistance of R1 has increased more [or less] than that of R2," [2] and thus showing that heat has been liberated at R1 and absorbed at R2 or vice versa.


[1] Thomson Effect, 1983. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Physics. New York: McGraw-Hill, p. 1175, emphasis added.

[2] Duckworth, H. E., 1960. Electricity and Magnetism. Holt, Rinehart, and Wilson, p. 183, emphasis added.





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.