Mike Keith found this amazing correspondence in 2004. The two 6×6 squares below contain 72 different entries from the periodic table of the elements:
The two squares are equal in three different ways:
- If you spell out the name of each element listed (hydrogen, beryllium, etc.), the square on the left is an anagram of the square on the right.
- The sum of the atomic numbers of the 36 elements on the left (2019) equals the sum of those on the right.
- If you replace each symbol with its alphabetic score (where A=1, B=2, etc.; e.g. Li = L + I = 12 + 9 = 21), then the sum of the scores on the left (737) equals that of those on the right.
Keith writes, “The next largest pair of triply-equal squares like this would be 7×7 in size, containing a total of 98 different elements, [and] it seems quite unlikely that 98 of them could be so arranged. If this is true then the 6×6 pair presented here is the largest possible (at least for now, until many more new chemical elements have been discovered and named).”
(Mike Keith, “A Magical Pair of 6×6 Chemical Squares,” Word Ways, February 2004.)