The theory of valency as a means of showing similarity of properties and relative composition became a dominant feature of chemical theory, the older hypotheses of types, radicals, &c.
Carbon was joined with silicon, zirconium and titanium, while boron, being trivalent, was relegated to another group. A general classification of elements, however, was not realized by Frankland, nor even by Odling, who had also investigated the question from the valency standpoint.
The structure of the molecule, which mainly followed investigations in organic compounds, Frankland's conception of valency, and finally the periodic law, have alsobeen shown in their chronological order.
But not only is the combining power or valency (atomicity) of the elements different, it is also observed that one element may combine with another in several proportions, or that its valency may vary; for example, phosphorus forms two chlorides represented by the formulae PC1 3 and PC1 51 nitrogen the series of oxides represented by the formulae N 2 0, NO, (N203), N 2 O 4, N205, molybdenum forms the chlorides MoC1 2, MoC1 3, MoC1 4, MoC1 5, MoCls(?), and tungsten the chlorides WC1 2, WCl 4, WC1 5, WC16.
The valency of an element is usually expressed by dashes or Roman numerals placed on the right of its symbol, thus: H', O", B"', C I ", P", mow; but in constructing graphic formulae the symbols of the elements are written with as many lines attached to each symbol as the element which it represents has units of affinity.