periodic table

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See also: Periodic Table of the Elements (table)Periodic Table of the Elements
(showing atomic number and atomic symbol; click on atomic symbol for more detailed information)

Groups                                  
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periodic table,

chart of the elements arranged according to the periodic lawperiodic law,
statement of a periodic recurrence of chemical and physical properties of the elements when the elements are arranged in order of increasing atomic number.
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 discovered by Dmitri I. MendeleevMendeleev, Dmitri Ivanovich
, 1834–1907, Russian chemist. He is famous for his formulation (1869) of the periodic law and the invention of the periodic table, a classification of the elements; with Lothar Meyer, who had independently reached similar conclusions, he was
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 and revised by Henry G. J. MoseleyMoseley, Henry Gwyn Jeffreys
, 1887–1915, English physicist, grad. Trinity College, Oxford, 1910. He began his research under Ernest Rutherford while serving as lecturer at the Univ. of Manchester and soon devoted himself entirely to research.
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. In the periodic table the elements are arranged in columns and rows according to increasing atomic numberatomic number,
often represented by the symbol Z, the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom, as well as the number of electrons in the neutral atom. Atoms with the same atomic number make up a chemical element. Atomic numbers were first assigned to the elements c.
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 (see the table entitled Periodic TablePeriodic Table of the Elements
(showing atomic number and atomic symbol; click on atomic symbol for more detailed information)

Groups                                  
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).

There are 18 vertical columns, or groups, in the standard periodic table. At present, there are three versions of the periodic table, each with its own unique column headings, in wide use. The three formats are the old International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) table, the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) table, and the new IUPAC table. The old IUPAC system labeled columns with Roman numerals followed by either the letter A or B. Columns 1 through 7 were numbered IA through VIIA, columns 8 through 10 were labeled VIIIA, columns 11 through 17 were numbered IB through VIIB and column 18 was numbered VIII. The CAS system also used Roman numerals followed by an A or B. This method, however, labeled columns 1 and 2 as IA and IIA, columns 3 through 7 as IIIB through VIB, column 8 through 10 as VIII, columns 11 and 12 as IB and IIB and columns 13 through 18 as IIIA through VIIIA. However, in the old IUPAC system the letters A and B were designated to the left and right part of the table, while in the CAS system the letters A and B were designated to the main group elements and transition elements respectively. (The preparer of the table arbitrarily could use either an upper-or lower-case letter A or B, adding to the confusion.) Further, the old IUPAC system was more frequently used in Europe while the CAS system was most common in America. In the new IUPAC system, columns are numbered with Arabic numerals from 1 to 18. These group numbers correspond to the number of s, p, and d orbital electrons added since the last noble gas element (in column 18). This is in keeping with current interpretations of the periodic law which holds that the elements in a group have similar configurations of the outermost electron shells of their atoms. Since most chemical properties result from outer electron interactions, this tends to explain why elements in the same group exhibit similar physical and chemical properties. Unfortunately, the system fails for the elements in the first 3 periods (or rows; see below). For example, aluminum, in the column numbered 13, has only 3 s, p, and d orbital electrons. Nevertheless, the American Chemical Society has adopted the new IUPAC system.

The horizontal rows of the table are called periods. The elements of a period are characterized by the fact that they have the same number of electron shells; the number of electrons in these shells, which equals the element's atomic number, increases from left to right within each period. In each period the lighter metals appear on the left, the heavier metals in the center, and the nonmetals on the right. Elements on the borderline between metals and nonmetals are called metalloids.

Group 1 (with one valence electron) and Group 2 (with two valence electrons) are called the alkali metalsalkali metals,
metals found in Group 1 of the periodic table. Compared to other metals they are soft and have low melting points and densities. Alkali metals are powerful reducing agents and form univalent compounds.
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 and the alkaline-earth metalsalkaline-earth metals,
metals constituting Group 2 of the periodic table. Generally, they are softer than most other metals, react readily with water (especially when heated), and are powerful reducing agents, but they are exceeded in each of these properties by the
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, respectively. Two series of elements branch off from Group 3, which contains the transition elementstransition elements
or transition metals,
in chemistry, group of elements characterized by the filling of an inner d electron orbital as atomic number increases.
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, or transition metals; elements 57 to 71 are called the lanthanide serieslanthanide series,
a series of metallic elements, included in the rare-earth metals, in Group 3 of the periodic table. Members of the series are often called lanthanides, although lanthanum (atomic number 57) is not always considered a member of the series.
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, or rare earths, and elements 89 to 103 are called the actinide seriesactinide series,
a series of radioactive metallic elements in Group 3 of the periodic table. Members of the series are often called actinides, although actinium (at. no. 89) is not always considered a member of the series.
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, or radioactive rare earths; a third set, the superactinide series (elements 122–153), is predicted to fall outside the main body of the table, but none of these has yet been synthesized or isolated. The nonmetals in Group 17 (with seven valence electrons) are called the halogenshalogen
[Gr.,=salt-bearing], any of the chemically active elements found in Group 17 of the periodic table; the name applies especially to fluorine (symbol F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), and iodine (I).
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. The elements grouped in the final column (Group 18) have no valence electrons and are called the inert gasesinert gas
or noble gas,
any of the elements in Group 18 of the periodic table. In order of increasing atomic number they are: helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon. They are colorless, odorless, tasteless gases and were once believed to be entirely inert, i.e.
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, or noble gases, because they react chemically only with extreme difficulty.

In a relatively simple type of periodic table, each position gives the name and chemical symbol for the element assigned to that position; its atomic number; its atomic weightatomic weight,
mean (weighted average) of the masses of all the naturally occurring isotopes of a chemical element, as contrasted with atomic mass, which is the mass of any individual isotope. Although the first atomic weights were calculated at the beginning of the 19th cent.
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 (the weighted average of the masses of its stable isotopes, based on a scale in which carbon-12 has a mass of 12); and its electron configuration, i.e., the distribution of its electrons by shells. The only exceptions are the positions of elements 103 through 118; complete information on these elements has not been compiled. Larger and more complicated periodic tables may also include the following information for each element: atomic diameter or radius; common valence numbers or oxidation states; melting point; boiling point; density; specific heat; Young's modulus; the quantum states of its valence electrons; type of crystal form; stable and radioactive isotopes; and type of magnetism exhibited by the element (paramagnetism or diamagnetism).

Bibliography

See P. W. Atkins, The Periodic Kingdom: A Journey into the Land of Chemical Elements (1997).

periodic table

[¦pir·ē¦äd·ik ′tā·bəl]
(chemistry)
A table of the elements, written in sequence in the order of atomic number or atomic weight and arranged in horizontal rows (periods) and vertical columns (groups) to illustrate the occurrence of similarities in the properties of the elements as a periodic function of the sequence.

periodic table

a table of the elements, arranged in order of increasing atomic number, based on the periodic law. Elements having similar chemical properties and electronic structures appear in vertical columns (groups)
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