What Are 118 Elements Called: A Guide to the Periodic Table

The periodic table is a fundamental tool in chemistry that organizes the 118 known elements. From the common elements found in everyday life to the rare and elusive ones only synthesized in laboratories, this guide aims to explore the fascinating world of the periodic table, shedding light on the elements and their unique characteristics that shape the world as we know it.

The Basics Of The Periodic Table: Understanding The Structure

The periodic table, an essential tool in chemistry, organizes the known elements in a specific structure. It consists of rows called periods and columns known as groups. Each element is represented by a unique symbol and arranged in order of increasing atomic number.

The structure of the periodic table provides crucial information about the elements. By examining the period and group of an element, scientists can determine its properties and behavior. Elements within the same group often exhibit similar characteristics, while elements within the same period share certain trends in properties.

The periodic table is divided into several blocks named s, p, d, and f blocks, based on the electron configurations of the elements. The s and p blocks contain the majority of elements, while the d and f blocks are transition metals and inner transition metals, respectively.

Understanding the structure of the periodic table is vital for comprehending the relationships between elements and predicting their properties based on their position. It serves as a fundamental tool for scientists and students alike, enabling them to navigate and explore the world of elements efficiently.

The Classification Of Elements: Metals, Nonmetals, And Metalloids

The Classification of Elements is an essential aspect of understanding the Periodic Table. Within this classification system, elements are categorized into three main groups: metals, nonmetals, and metalloids.

Metals are elements characterized by their shiny appearance, malleability, ductility, and good conductivity of heat and electricity. They constitute a significant portion of the Periodic Table, occupying the left-hand side and the central regions. Elements such as iron, copper, and gold fall into this category.

On the other hand, nonmetals are elements that lack the properties of metals. They are poor conductors of heat and electricity and often have a dull appearance. Nonmetals tend to be found on the right-hand side of the Periodic Table, including elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Metalloids, as the name suggests, exhibit properties intermediate between metals and nonmetals. These elements are often semiconductors, meaning their conductivity falls between that of metals and nonmetals. Examples of metalloids include silicon, germanium, and arsenic.

Understanding the classification of elements into metals, nonmetals, and metalloids is crucial for comprehending the different properties and behaviors of elements. It provides a foundation for exploring the diverse nature of the elements within the Periodic Table.


The History of Element Discovery: Who Discovered What?

The history of element discovery is a fascinating journey that spans centuries of scientific exploration. Throughout the years, numerous scientists and researchers have made remarkable contributions to our understanding of the elements and their properties.

From the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece to the modern laboratories of today, this subheading explores the stories behind the discovery of various elements. It delves into the lives and works of pioneers such as Marie Curie, Dmitri Mendeleev, and Antoine Lavoisier, who played crucial roles in advancing our knowledge of the chemical world.

Readers will gain insights into the meticulous processes and experiments that led to the identification and isolation of elements like oxygen, gold, and uranium. They will discover the fascinating stories of accidental discoveries and the tales of competition and controversy that surrounded some of the earliest research in this field.

By understanding the history of element discovery, readers can appreciate the incredible effort and dedication that have shaped our understanding of the periodic table and continue to inspire scientists to seek new frontiers in chemistry.

The Atomic Numbers And Symbols: Identifying Each Element

The periodic table consists of 118 elements, each with its unique atomic number and symbol. The atomic number represents the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom of that element, while the symbol is an abbreviation used to represent the element. It’s important to understand how these atomic numbers and symbols help identify each element accurately.

Atomic numbers follow a pattern where they increase from left to right and from top to bottom in the periodic table. For example, hydrogen, the first element, has an atomic number of 1, whereas helium, the second element, has an atomic number of 2. This pattern continues throughout the periodic table.

Symbols, on the other hand, are usually derived from the element’s name. They can consist of one or two letters, with the first letter always being capitalized and, in some cases, the second letter being lowercase.

Knowing the atomic numbers and symbols enables scientists and chemists to communicate effectively about different elements and understand their properties and behavior. It also helps identify the elements in chemical formulas, equations, and reactions, making it an essential part of studying and working with the periodic table.

The Groups And Periods: How Elements Are Organized

The periodic table is organized into groups and periods to provide a systematic arrangement of elements based on their properties. Groups, also known as families, are vertical columns that share similar chemical characteristics. There are 18 groups in total, each denoted by a number and a letter.

The elements within a group have similar electron configurations, which determines their chemical reactivity. For example, Group 1 elements (alkali metals) have one valence electron and are highly reactive, while Group 18 elements (noble gases) have a full valence shell and are chemically stable.

Periods, on the other hand, are horizontal rows that represent the number of electron shells an element possesses. The periodic table is divided into seven periods, each indicated by a number. As you move across a period from left to right, the number of protons and electrons increases by one.

Elements within the same period may have different physical and chemical properties due to variations in electron configuration. For instance, period 2 elements, including carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, exhibit different bonding patterns and reactivity.

Understanding the organization of groups and periods in the periodic table is essential for predicting an element’s properties based on its position and for studying trends in chemical behavior.

The Properties Of Elements: Exploring Physical And Chemical Characteristics

The Properties of Elements: Exploring Physical and Chemical Characteristics is an essential subheading in understanding the periodic table. This section delves into the various characteristics that define each element.

Physical properties refer to the observable traits of an element, such as its color, density, melting point, boiling point, and conductivity. These properties provide valuable information about an element’s behavior under certain conditions. For instance, elements in the same group often exhibit similar physical properties, such as the alkali metals, which are highly reactive and have low melting points.

Chemical properties, on the other hand, describe how an element interacts with other substances and undergoes chemical reactions. These properties include an element’s reactivity, its ability to form compounds, and its valence electrons. Elements with similar chemical properties are often found in the same group or share similar electron configurations.

Understanding these physical and chemical properties is crucial in a wide range of fields, from chemistry and materials science to medicine and engineering. It allows scientists to predict how elements will behave and how they can be utilized for various purposes. Furthermore, analyzing these properties helps in identifying trends and patterns within the periodic table, leading to a deeper comprehension of the elements’ relationships and potential applications.

Beyond The 118 Known Elements: Predicting And Discovering New Elements

Within the vast realm of scientific exploration, the periodic table serves as a fundamental tool to understand the building blocks of the universe. While the periodic table currently consists of 118 known elements, scientists are constantly on the lookout for new elements waiting to be discovered. This subheading aims to delve into the fascinating world of predicting and discovering new elements.

Predicting new elements involves the use of complex mathematical models and theories. Scientists explore the periodic table’s patterns and trends to hypothesize the existence and properties of undiscovered elements. This process often requires a deep understanding of atomic structure and quantum mechanics.

To confirm the existence of new elements, extensive experimental research is conducted. Utilizing advanced techniques such as particle accelerators and nuclear reactors, scientists attempt to synthesize and observe the fleeting existence of these newly predicted elements. This process of element synthesis often involves colliding atomic nuclei and analyzing the resulting reactions to verify the creation of a new, previously unidentified element.

The discovery of new elements not only expands scientific knowledge but also pushes the boundaries of human understanding. With each new addition to the periodic table, we gain deeper insights into the nature of matter and its role in the universe, fostering new possibilities for scientific advancements and technological innovations.


1. What is the periodic table?

The periodic table is a tabular arrangement of chemical elements, organized based on their atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties. It provides a systematic way to categorize and understand the various elements that exist.

2. How many elements are there in the periodic table?

The periodic table consists of 118 known elements. These elements range from hydrogen (atomic number 1) to oganesson (atomic number 118), the heaviest element discovered to date. Each element has unique characteristics and plays a crucial role in the building blocks of matter.

3. What are the elements on the periodic table named after?

Elements on the periodic table can be named based on various factors. Some elements are named after famous scientists, like Einsteinium (Es) or Curium (Cm). Others are named after mythological figures, such as Thorium (Th) or Mercury (Hg). Additionally, some elements are named after places they were discovered in, like Californium (Cf) or Europium (Eu).

4. What is the significance of the periodic table?

The importance of the periodic table cannot be overstated. It serves as a fundamental tool for chemists and scientists, facilitating the understanding of the relationships between different elements and their properties. It allows for the prediction of chemical behavior, guides research, and plays a crucial role in the development of new materials and technologies.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the periodic table is a comprehensive guide to the 118 known elements. It organizes and categorizes these elements based on their atomic number, electron configuration, and chemical properties. Each element has its unique set of characteristics and is essential to understanding the fundamental building blocks of matter. By studying the periodic table, scientists can uncover the relationships and patterns among these elements, leading to breakthroughs in various scientific disciplines and enhancing our overall understanding of the natural world.

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