The Periodic Table & Its Components

The Periodic Table is an arrangement of chemical elements which are sorted in order by increasing atomic numbers in vertical columns referred to as groups, and horizontal rows known as periods. It is a resourceful tool in chemistry and other branches of science. Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev, a Russian chemist, founded the Period Law and the foundation for the Periodic Table. The Periodic Law states that elements are in order of increasing mass. Henry Mosley, an English physicist, organized the elements according to increasing atomic number, which is used in the modern Periodic Table. There are currently 118 elements on the Periodic Table, 90 of which are found in nature, and the rest were developed by humanity.

Chemical elements are substances which cannot be chemically broken down into smaller substances. The elements of the periodic table are distinguished by their atomic numbers, which are the number of protons in the nuclei within the atoms of the elements. The number of electrons in an atom are equivalent to the number of protons. There are three visible components to each element on the Periodic Table, which are the atomic number, the element’s symbol, and its atomic mass. The atomic number is the number of protons in an element’s atoms, the symbol is consisted of one or two letters which represent the element, and the atomic mass is the combination of the masses of protons and neutrons. For example, the element Carbon’s symbol is C, its atomic number is six, and its atomic number is twelve.

The elements are broken up into several groups within the Periodic Table. A majority of the elements are metals, which are narrowed down to alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals, and inner transition metals. The last column to the very right of the table are known as inert gases. The column before inert gases are halogens. Like inert gases and halogens, the four groups before these two columns are also non-metals. The first two groups, beginning with Hydrogen and Beryllium, are 1A and 2A; the groups beginning with Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine and Helium are 3A through 8A. The metals in between 1A through 8A are 1B through 10B.

The Periodic Table of elements is essential in chemistry because it contains fundamental information which gives chemists the ability to distinguish an element’s properties due to the table’s format. With this data, chemists can predict chemical reactions because of the different groups (metals, inert gases, metalloids, etc.), and they can determine the associations of different elements with each other.

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