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Periodic Table of Elements Best Resource

Periodic Table of Elements

The purpose of the periodic table is to illustrate recurring trends in properties of elements. Since its creation, the table has been further refined and expanded to include new elements as they are discovered. The table is a key reference for the study of chemistry as well as other subjects, by providing a visual framework for classification and comparison for varieties of chemical behavior.

General Framework

The periodic table has a very straightforward structure to systematize and organize the understanding of elemental chemical behavior. Although several variations of the table exist, along a fairly wide continuum of complexity, there is a basic structure common to most. The layout of the table is intended to be periodic or stated simply, to illustrate recurring chemical properties. The elements in the table are listing according to increasing atomic number, which is the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. It is also worth noting that not all elements are products of nature, some 118 elements in existence as of 2010 are synthetic elements that are artificially produced using particle accelerators.

Metals and Non-metals

In some tables, a bold step-like line divides metals on the left and non-metals on the right table side.


The rows of the table are configured so that elements that have like properties are in the same columns, called families or groups. Some of these groups are given names based on properties, which are trivial or more simply of no systematic significance. Some examples are alkali metals, alkaline metals, and noble gases. Groups without arbitrary names are referred to by their group number.


Each row of the table, period, in the table corresponds to a filling of shell electrons. The periods get longer as one progresses further down the table.


There are several regions of the table that are referred to as blocks, they are named according to the sub shell that the last electron resides at. The 's-block' includes alkali and alkaline metals, it also includes hydrogen and helium. The 'p-block' includes groups 13 to 18 as well as all semi metals. The 'd-block' includes groups 3 to 12' as well as all transition metals. Lastly, the 'f-block', which is separated from the rest of the table at the bottom includes all the rare earth metals.

History of Periodic Table

Origin of the Periodic Table - Great illustrated time line style resource with detailed explanation explaining the intellectual development of the periodic tables

the History of the Periodic Table - Nice article chronicling the development of the Periodic tables.

History of Periodic Tables Powerpoint - Neat power point presentation on important intellectuals contributing to the development of the tables.

Periodic Table Quiz-Test your Knowledge, quiz on the periodic tables.

Interactive Resources

Amazing P-Table-Amazing Table with visually amazing group distinction as well as intuitive, accessible and breathtakingly extensive information on each element, including common uses and external resources for each all elements.

Common Uses Table-See a visual sample of each table and learn common uses by hovering your mouse over the image.

Simple Table-Basic Table for those looking for basic information on elements, compounds, and origins.

P-Table Quiz-Take the name that element quiz.

P-Table Understanding Quiz-Quiz to test your skills on symbols, names, and groups.

Educational Resources

P-Table lessons-A great list of lessons on the Periodic Tables, from basic to intermediate. Also includes games and puzzles.

P-Table Multimedia -Nice selection of videos showing experiments with different elements, narrowly targeted to illustrating important points and adding a multimedia touch to any lesson plan.

Reading P-Table Lesson Plan-Straightforward but well structured plan for teaching students to read the table.

High School P-Table Lesson Plan-Great high school level lesson plan, includes game and activities.

Additional Resources

Advanced Concepts in Chemistry-Challenging concepts for the bold and daring. 

Chemistry Web Resources-Great resource page with some of the most reputable chemistry resources on the net.

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