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also see Elements of the Periodic Table and the Extended Periodic Table


or PERIODIC TABLE of elements


This is the famous PERIODIC TABLE. I remember there was a big chart on the chemistry lab wall when I was at school and it was entitled PERIODIC CLASSIFICATION, so obviously every now and then, PERIODICALLY, some scientists took the trouble to do a lot of experiments and classify all the elements and then the tables would be periodically printed and published the labs put up the new ones. However, they never replaced the one in the school. Of course the truth is that it's not updated and published periodically, but in fact the elements are arranged in horizontal rows known as PERIODS and vertical columns which are Groups. The elements in each column have some things in common. For example, on the leftmost column sodium (Na) goes bang when it's dropped in water, and the next element down is potassium (K) and that goes bang violently when dropped in water, and Rubidium (Rb), well you don't want to be near any water that's being dropped in! Similarly on the rightmost column all the elements are inert gases, and the column just next to that has the halogens fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine, all of which have an affinity for forming particular types of compounds. Also, and in the middle there's a column with copper, silver, and gold. What's clever about the periodic table is, like a crossword, across the rows adds up too, as each element along is one atomic number more than the previous.

If you'd like to read about some of the elements in the Periodic Table, the links to pages about some of them are on the page of chemical elements