The Elements of the Periodic Table

Ever wonder where did this periodic table ever come from? At the end of the 18th century, Lavoisier compiled a list of the 23 elements known at the time. In 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev coined the term "Periodic Table".

Group Names and Classifications

Concept: Classification of Elements in the Periodic Table 


The 3 major classifications of elements in the periodic table can be broken down as metals, nonmetals and metalloids

Different columns known as groups separate the elements in the periodic table. Each of these groups has a unique name used in their classification. 

Concept: Phases of the Elements in the Periodic Table 


At room temperature (between 20 oC to  25oC), all elements exist as solids, liquids or gases.

Charge Distributions of the Periodic Table

Elements gain positive and negative charge when they lose or accept electrons. 

Concept: The Reason for Negative and Positive Ions


Elements gain and lose electrons so that they have the same number of electrons as the noble gases, which are electronically perfect.  

Concept: Cations as Type I Metals vs Type II Metals 


Type I metals are metals that possess one charge, whereas type II metals possess more than one charge. 

Unlike metals, nonmetals will under normal conditions gain electrons to become more like their closest noble gas.

Element Symbols

Many of the symbols used for elements are easy to recognize. However, some elements in the periodic table have Latin, Greek and other origins and so their symbol may not match their name as clearly. 

Example: Identify the elements by their given symbols.

Au          Hg            Pb               Fe                 Ag


Monoatomic, Diatomic & Polyatomic Elements

Many elements in the periodic table exist naturally by themselves, such as sodium metal, Na (s). 

Concept: Discussing the Diatomic and Polyatomic Elements


Some elements in the periodic table exist in pairs called diatomic elements, just remember them with:

Ice exists as a solid so the natural form of I2 is a solid. Beer exists a liquid so the natural form of Br2 is a liquid. The remaining diatomic elements exists as gases. 

Polyatomic elements exist as more than a pair of elements together, such as phorphorus which exists as P4