Decoding the Periodic Table: Understanding Elements and Their Properties


Understanding the Periodic Table

The periodic table is a form of table that contains the arrangement of chemical elements based on their atomic numbers. The arranged atomic numbers consist of a certain number of protons in a specific electron configuration with similar properties possessed by chemical elements. The periodic table is divided into four blocks: s, p, d, and f. Within a period or row, the left side indicates metallic properties, while the right side indicates non-metallic properties.

Here are the terms used in the periodic table that Grameds needs to know to understand and interpret its chemical elements:

  1. Period
    A period is a horizontal row section on the chemical periodic table with a more significant horizontal trend compared to vertical trends because they are harder to understand. Grameds can observe that the f-block indicates lanthanides and actinides forming two horizontal series of elements that could be substantial in defining chemical elements.
  2. Group
    A group on the table of chemical elements is also known as a family, which represents a vertical column section on the periodic table with periodic trends, not based on periods or specific blocks.
  3. Block-s
    The s-block on the chemical periodic table consists of two groups, namely alkali metals and alkaline earth metals. In its arrangement, the s-block also includes additional elements such as hydrogen and helium.
  4. Block-p
    The p-block on the table of chemical elements consists of six groups, from group 13 to 18 according to IUPAC regulations from 3A to 8A as per American naming. All sections of the p-block also predominantly contain metalloids.
  5. Block-d
    The d-block on the table of chemical elements consists of groups 3 to 12, ranging from group 3B to 2B in the American grouping system. All chemical elements in the d-block group are transition metals.
  6. Block-f
    The f-block on the table of chemical elements is often placed at the bottom. It is essential for Grameds to know that the f-block group does not have group numbers and consists of lanthanides and actinides.

Elements from hydrogen to oganesson have been synthesized and adjusted with the addition of the newest chemical elements. The chemical elements Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine, and Oganesson are new elements in this periodic table. The addition of these chemical elements was officially confirmed on December 30, 2015, by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and later named on November 28, 2016.

While 94 of the first elements appear naturally, some elements are created in laboratories because they have not been found in nature, such as several transuranic elements and synthesized ones. This table of chemical elements can be used to observe the decreasing relationship between the properties of old and new elements because they have not been discovered yet. The chemical periodic table provides a framework of chemical elements that can be utilized to read and analyze specific chemical behaviors.

Explanation of the Periodic Table

Explanation of the Periodic Table
  • The table has rows indicating periods and columns indicating groups of chemical elements.
  • The table has six groups or columns with names other than just numbers. For example, group 17 elements are halogens, and group 18 elements are noble gases.
  • This table of chemical elements can be used to derive relationships between the properties of elements and predict new properties of elements that will be discovered.
  • This table shows a framework for analyzing the behavior of specific chemical elements, commonly used in the field of chemical science studies.

Classification of the Periodic Table

Chemical elements have classifications based on their physical and chemical properties according to the phenomena experienced by these elements. That’s why there are several classifications that Grameds needs to know to understand the periodic table correctly, as follows:

  1. General Properties
    In general, chemical elements have physical and chemical properties that consist of three categories, including metals, metalloids, and non-metals. Here’s a complete explanation of the general properties of chemical elements:
    a. Metals are usually shiny solids with high conductivity and can form alloys with other metals to form ionic compounds with non-metals or noble gases. Here are the characteristics of metals on the periodic table:
  • 78% of all known elements are metals.
  • Placed on the left side of the periodic table.
  • Usually solid at room temperature.
  • Typically have high melting and boiling points.
  • Good conductors of heat and electricity.
  • Can be hammered and stretched.
    b. Non-metals are usually colored or colorless gases that can form compounds with other non-metallic forms covalently. Here are the characteristics of non-metals on the periodic table:
  • Located on the upper right side of the Periodic Table.
  • There are a total of 22 non-metals.
  • Usually solids or gases at room temperature.
  • Low melting and boiling points.
  • Poor conductors of heat and electricity.
    c. Metalloids usually have properties between metals and non-metals or a combination of both elements.

Classification on the periodic table is usually indicated by different colors of the table. To distinguish between metals and non-metals, it depends on the abundance of metals and non-metals in the chemical element. Metals and non-metals are further classified into subcategories with a gradient of properties from non-metals to metals for chemical elements in the same period.

Metals consist of reactive alkali metals, less reactive alkaline earth metals, lanthanides actinides, transition metals, and post-transition metals. Whereas non-metals consist of polyatomic non-metals, essential non-metals which are almost like metalloids, and monoatomic noble gases which are nearly perfect non-metals. If metalloids show both metallic and non-metallic properties, such as silicon, germanium, arsenic, and antimony.

  1. State of Matter
    Another distinguishing factor in the classification of chemical elements is the state or phase of matter of the element, such as solid, liquid, or gas at standard temperature and pressure (STP). Usually, elements in solid form have conventional temperatures and atmospheric pressures, while some are gases. Liquids usually include bromine and mercury at 0 °C or around 32 °F with normal atmospheric pressure.
  2. Melting and Boiling Points
    Melting and boiling points are used to define the characteristics of elements expressed in degrees Celsius at certain atmospheric pressures. The classification of elements based on melting and boiling points is already known, but there are some very few radioactive elements whose quantities are unknown. Helium or He only has a boiling point and no melting point in conventional presentation because it remains in liquid form even at absolute zero under atmospheric pressure.
  3. Density
    The classification of the periodic table often uses density at standard temperature and pressure (STP) as a characteristic of chemical elements. Density is then expressed in grams per cubic centimeter or g/cm3. Density is usually also stated for gaseous forms at certain temperature measurement forms. For example, when liquefied or solidified, gas elements have the same density as other chemical elements.

When a chemical element has allotropes with different densities, one allotrope representing it will be chosen in the conclusion presentation. While the density of each allotrope can be explained in its detail section. For example, three carbon allotropes, namely amorphous carbon, graphite, diamond, have their respective densities of 1.8-2.1; 2.267; and 3.515 g/cm3.

  1. Crystal Structure
    Grameds needs to know that chemical elements studied so far as solid samples have eight types of crystal structures in their materials. Namely cubic, body-centered cubic, face-centered cubic, hexagonal, monoclinic, orthorhombic, rhombohedral, and tetragonal. In some synthetic transuranium elements, the available samples of chemical elements are very small to determine their crystal structure.
  2. Origin on Earth
    There are 94 first elements formed naturally, while there are 24 other elements formed artificially as synthesis products through artificial nuclear reactions.

There are 83 chemical elements considered primordial and are either stable or weakly radioactive. The remaining 11 elements are considered fleeting elements because they have a short half-life to exist at the beginning of the solar system. These 11 elements include polonium, radon, radium, actinium, and protactinium.

These elements are decay products of thorium, and the other six elements are other fleeting elements processed with rare nuclear reactions involving titanium or western elements. The remaining elements are technetium, astatine, promethium, neptunium, francium, and plutonium.


Now, after understanding the definition and explanation of the periodic table of elements, Grameds needs to know how to read this periodic table to accurately define chemical elements. There are several tips for reading it by understanding a few things:

  1. Reading the Periodic Table from Top Left to Bottom Right
    This table of chemical elements is arranged based on atomic number, so the further right and down, the larger the atomic number. The atomic number on the periodic table is the number of protons the chemical element atom possesses, and the further right, the larger the atomic mass number. Grameds can understand the weight of a specific chemical element by simply looking at its position on this chemical periodic table.

The periodic table, further to the right and down, indicates an increase in the atomic mass of the chemical element because it is calculated by the number of protons and neutrons in each chemical element atom. The number will continue to increase because the number of protons also increases, while the electron material has little effect on the atomic weight.

  1. Understand Chemical Elements
    Each chemical element contains 1 more proton than the atom to its left in the periodic table. To overcome this, Grameds can look at the atomic number arranged from left to right.

These chemical elements are divided into 3 groups, for example, the first row indicates hydrogen with an atomic number of 1, and helium has an atomic number of 2. Then Grameds can define that these two elements are located at the ends of the periodic table, left and right because they are in different groups.

  1. Recognize Atom Groups with Similar Physical Properties
    The groups of the periodic table are displayed by vertical columns, and groups are characterized by the same colors. Grameds can use these colors to help identify which elements have similar physical and chemical properties. Thus, it will be easier to predict the chemical reactions of each group of elements with the same number of electrons.

All chemical elements only belong to one group, except hydrogen, which belongs to the halogen or alkali metal group. Hydrogen even appears in both groups on the periodic table.

  1. Pay Attention to Blank Spaces on the Table
    Another thing Grameds need to pay attention to is the arrangement of elements into groups and groups to estimate similar physical and chemical properties. This method can facilitate Grameds in understanding each reacting element. If chemical elements increase, their classification becomes more difficult, which is why there are blank spaces on this table of chemical elements. For example, the first 3 rows of the table have blank spaces because they function for transition metals to be introduced in the periodic table, namely atomic number 21.
  2. Note that Each Row is Called a Period
    All chemical elements in one period always have the same number of atomic orbitals, then they will be crossed by certain electrons. The number of orbitals will match the number of periods on the periodic table, indicating 7 rows, which means 7 periods. For example, period 1 elements with 1 orbital, while period 7 elements also have 7 orbitals. These examples are numbered 1-7 from top to bottom on the left side of the periodic table.
  3. Differentiate Between Metals, Metalloids, and Non-metals
    Grameds need to know the types of elements to make it easier to understand the properties of elements on the periodic table. Classification indicated by different colors on this periodic table indicates whether the element belongs to the metal, metalloid, or non-metal group. Grameds can observe the differences to find metal elements on the right side of the table, while non-metallic elements are on the left, and the semi-metal group is between metals and non-metals.

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