What will be your answer when asked, “What is a periodic table?”
The periodic table is the arrangement of the chemical elements in a tabular form according to their atomic number. This arrangement is based on the periodic trends shown by the elements. That is, elements with similar properties and behaviors are arranged in the same column.
To fully understand what the periodic table is all about, here is a breakdown of what the periodic table is made of:
The elements are represented in symbols, atomic number, and weights
If you take a look at the periodic table, each element has a chemical symbol which you can find at the center. Above the symbol is the atomic number which shows the position of the element in the periodic table. Below the symbol is the atomic mass. This is the weight of the element. For instance, the atomic symbol of Hydrogen is H. it has an atomic number of 1 and also a mass number of 1.
Elements are arranged in groups and rows
Elements in the periodic table are arranged according to their similar chemical properties in rows and columns. The rows in the periodic table are called the periods while the columns are called the groups. There are seven rows in the table with a total of 18 groups. This unique framework enables scientists to analyze the chemical behavior of the elements in the groups. It is quite easy to monitor the trends in the elements because, if you know the trend for one, the same applies for the rest of the group.
The composition of elements
If what is a periodic table question is asked, one cannot leave out talking about the elements and what makes up the elements. The chemical elements are discovered to be made up of atoms of a kind. In further research when the question of what makes up the atoms was asked, further research discovered that the atoms contain three components. These are the protons, electrons, and neutrons. The proton is positively charged while the electron is negatively charged. The neutrons are neutral components found in the nucleus.