Unlocking the Secrets of the Periodic Table

Unlocking the Secrets of the Periodic Table


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 05 Feb,2024

A fundamental tool in chemistry, the periodic table arranges all known elements in order of their atomic structures and properties.

Here’s a closer look at the mysteries of the periodic table:

Fundamental Framework:

  1. Groups (columns) and periods (rows) make up the periodic table.
  2. Chemical characteristics of substances in the same group are comparable.

Periods and Blocks:

  1. Elements in one period have the same number of electron shells.
  2. The table has been divided into four blocks; s, p, d, and f representing sublevels of electrons.

Atomic Number and Atomic Mass:

  1. The number of protons in an atom, or the atomic number, is used to categorize the elements.
  2. The average mass of an element’s isotopes, as shown on a scale based on carbon-12, is referred to as its atomic mass.

Groups/Families: periodic table groups

Groups are vertical columns with similar chemical properties:

  1. Group 1: Alkali metals
  2. Group 2: Alkaline earth metals
  3. Group 17: Halogens
  4. Group 18: Noble gases.

Transition Metals:

Transition metal elements found between groups 3-12 possess variable oxidation states and often react to form colored compounds

Lanthanides and Actinides:

Lanthanides and actinides belong to the f-block at the bottom end of the table.


Along this staircase (B, Si, Ge, As, Sb, Te, Po), elements exhibit behavior traits characteristic of both metals and nonmetals.

Periodic Trends:

  1. There is a decrease in atomic radius across a period while there is an increase down a group.
  2. Ionization energy increases along a given period but falls down any other group.
  3. Electronegativity falls in a similar fashion as ionization potential.

Electron Configuration:

  1. Formation of atoms involves accommodation of these electrons with each set (s, p, d, f) having specific numbers.
  2. Electron configuration is the notation used to express how an atom’s electrons are arranged within the energy levels.

Valence Electrons:

  1. Valence electrons are defined as those located on the outermost shell or energy level.
  2. Hence, chemical properties of these elements depend on valence electron number.

Periodic Law:

The periodic law states that properties of elements are functions of their atomic numbers and occur periodically.


  1. Isotopes refer to atoms from a single element with similar number of protons but a range of neutrons contained inside them.
  2. Atomic mass is simply a weighted figure taking into account all isotopic forms for the element at question.

Chemical Reactivity:

Metals present on the left side tend to lose electrons while nonmetals on the right side gain them.

Predicting Element Properties:

Scientists can use this table to predict what certain undiscovered elements will possess if they exist based on where they should appear spatially.

Periodic Table of Mendeleev:

By placing the elements in ascending order of atomic mass and then forecasting their absent characteristics, Dmitri Mendeleev created the first periodic table.

Modern Periodic Table:

Based on atomic number, which reflects our understanding about electronic structure, we have modern periodic TABLES

Interpreting chemical behavior both qualitatively and quantitatively requires understanding its significance; hence one must be familiar with it while studying chemistry because it provides a basis for understanding properties and relationships of elements.

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