A periodic table can be defined as a table containing chemical elements that are arranged according to the atomic number of the elements. The elements are arranged in rows such that all chemical elements that have the same type of atomic structure are grouped together. On account of the similar atomic structure, these elements also contain similar chemical properties and are arranged in vertical columns. The periodic table was developed by a Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev in the year 1869. It is also referred to as periodic chart and the modern day periodic table is derived from the periodic table developed by Mendeleev. One of the flaws of the periodic table developed by Mendeleev was that the elements were not arranged in accordance to atomic number but were arranged according to the atomic weight. Therefore, the table exhibited repetitive trends or the periodicity of the properties of elements. The periodic table comprises of seven rows which are referred to as the periods. The rows are organized in such a manner that non-metals are arranged on one side while metals are arranged on the other side of the periodic table. In this regard it should be stated that the columns are referred to as groups and the groups contain those elements that have similar characteristics.
The periodic table is majorly used for interpreting existing relationships between different elements. In addition to this, the periodic table also helps to detect the properties of newly discovered and unfamiliar elements. As has already been stated the periodic table has seven periods and typically the atomic number of the elements increased from left to right across a period. The elements placed towards the left are metals and the elements placed towards the right are non-metals. The columns of the elements are referred to as groups or families. The groups are typically numbered from group 1 to group 18. While Group 1 comprises of the alkali metals, Group 18 contains the noble gases. The elements contained within a group contain a distinct similarity in terms of chemical properties. Some of these properties include atomic radii, electronegativity as well as ionization energy. Typically the atomic radius increases in size on descending a group. This is because successive elements acquire an energy level. Further, electronegativity decreases on descending a group, on account of the reason that as electrons are added, the valence electrons are pushed far from the nucleus. Also, on descending the group, the ionization energy of the elements decreases and as a result it becomes easier to remove the electrons from the valence shell. The periodic chart also contains certain sections that depict the outer electronic subshell of the atom. These sections are known as the blocks. While, the s-block comprises of the first two groups of the periodic table that included the alkali metals and the alkaline earth metals as well as Helium and Hydrogen. The p-block comprises of the groups 13 till 18. The d-block comprises of the groups 3 to 12 and this includes the transition metals. The f-block contains two sets of metals that are placed between the periodic table and this includes the Lanthanides and the Actinides.
The first period is the shortest and only contains H and He. The second period contains Li to Ne, the third period contains Na to Ar, the fourth period contains Ru to Xe, the sixth period is the longest and contains Ce to Ra and the seventh period is an incomplete period. Lanthanides are placed in the sixth period under group III B and Actinides within seventh period in Group IIIB. These are the some of the common features of the modern periodic table.
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