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Periodic Table Characteristics Report

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Updated: May 11th, 2021

This table is an essential aspect of modern-day science. It not only groups elements based on comparable characteristics but also shows both the atomic and molecular structure of the elements thus facilitating easy study.

This is an orderly tabular arrangement of all known elements by atomic figures as they increase. The table is best illustrated by vertical and horizontal lines of elements with the latter called groups while the former are called elements (Lengler& Eppler 2008). It is noteworthy that distinct elements occurs between groups two and thirteen thus the transition metals. These are also chemically analogous compounds. Although all groups have a resembling set of characteristics, the elements in some groups bear closer resemblance to each other than in other groups.

The periodic table came about after collective efforts from many scientists. It all started in 1817, when Johann Dobereiner discovered that elements were present in triads. The middle element in each triad had average properties of the other two. In 1862, a French geologist, A.E.Beguyer de Chancourtois created a chart by putting together elements on a cylinder basing on escalating atomic mass (Scerri, 2007). He was able to make out that the properties re-appear within every seven elements thus predicting the stoichiometry of several oxides that were metallic in nature (Carpi, 2003). In 1863, an English chemist John Newlands then proposed the Octaves basing on the musical range periods. It is dictated that elements housed within the table bear related characteristics to the elements appearing eight intervals after they do. As a result of this discovery, Mendeleev was instrumental in coming up with eleven groups for all elements in existence at the time. This proved the existence similar elements whose atomic mass differed by a multiple of eight.

During his time as a chemistry professor between 1860 and 1890, Mendeleev crafted a book, in which he classified elements in groups bearing resembling properties. He started with halogens, and then followed up on metals as per their combining power. He came up with the inference that some metals showed multiple properties hence could not be easily categorized. He arranged the elements in a table in ascending atomic mass (Carpi, 2003). This table illuminated that elements showed similarities in different fronts such as vertically, diagonal networks, horizontally and not just in minute triads. He then moved seventeen elements from their preliminary positions by changing their atomic masses.

My interest in the table derives its basis from fully understanding how to use the table at the moment. I previously found the table difficult to comprehend. Metals are on the left and, non metals on the right. The middle rows have semi metals; furthermore, the elements are put together in escalating order of atomic number.

Various elements in the table can be synthesized in an artificial mode. Consider, elements within the eighth group that can be synthesized by the reactions brought forth by metal compounds and elements within the fifth group especially those with a bearing on polymeric complexes (West, 2007). It is notable that the process occurs when a metal directly associates with the mentioned elements. A reducing agent comes in handy during this process (West, 2007).

Since the inception of this table in 1869 by Mendeleev, it has been instrumental in illustration of reappearing or periodic trends of elements. He ignored mass order and placed elements showing re-appearing chemical properties, whilst leaving gaps for other undiscovered elements (Lengler& Eppler 2008).

Vertical arrangement (groups) is the most noticeable method of sorting. Elements with comparable element characteristics are grouped one on top of the other thus exhibiting reactivity in conjunction with the electrons that assume the form of quantum electrons. In group one, for example, potassium comes after sodium. Despite the fact that they both react with water, potassium reacts in a vigorous mode consequently releasing energy (Adam, 2003). It is noteworthy that Potassium shells of electrons can be deduced as three while sodium has two; furthermore, they have one delocalized electron each for the purpose of bonding (Lengler& Eppler 2008).

Horizontal arrangement (periods) is rarely used. The only categories in which periods appear to be more significant in comparison to groups are evident in lanthanides and actinides. In the end, periods are instrumental in showing categories of elements with an equal shell (Lengler& Eppler 2008).

Formulations constitute important processes in the society. Chemists inform that before any of these is performed, knowledge of chemical behavior is imperative. In order to monitor molecular reactions, it is important to be conversant with molecular quantities (Adam, 2003). This will enable us one to determine other factors, like equilibrium levels. Given that the molecular weight equates the atomic weight of the constituent atoms, the periodic table facilitates such calculations. It can also be used to determine suitable alternatives for certain components as it groups elements in reference to similarity in characteristics (Adam, 2003).

The periodic table is important to modern day science. This is because without it, keeping track of different metals and their compounds would not be possible. Studying the elements would have been difficult hence important discoveries in medicine, chemicals and many more would not be possible (Carpi, 2003).


Adam, H. (2003). Madsci Network: Chemistry. Web.

Carpi, A. (2003). Vision Learning. Web.

Lengler, R. & Eppler, M. (2008) Lugano, Switzerland: Institute of Corporate Communication University of Lugano, Web.

Scerri, E. (2007). The periodic table: its story and its significance. New York: Oxford University Press US.

West, R. (2007). Advances in Organometallic Chemistry. London: Academic Press.

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