Periodic table

1869 Periodic table

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Dmitri Mendeleev chemistry periodic table

Periodic table

Filling the gaps

Fact and ritual


The periodic table made so much sense of the series of elements that had been discovered at the time (about sixty elements) that Mendeleev was able to predict the properties of eight elements that had not yet been discovered. In the table, elements are ordered by their atomic weights. Each column, called a group, includes elements of similar properties, such as the alkali metals and the noble gases. Each row, called a period, shows a trend such as ionization energy and electronegativity. The table provides a useful framework for understanding chemical behaviors.

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