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What is the Periodic Table?

Chemistry | 7-12 yrs | Video, Animation

There are 118 chemical elements known to man. This is a large number and with all these elements combining to make different compounds, understanding them can be very confusing. Here to the rescue we have the Periodic Table, a tabular arrangement of all the known chemical elements according to their structural properties.

Each chemical is arranged in tabular form so that we can
1. Accurately predict the properties of various elements and study the relations between them.
2. Keep track of newly discovered elements.
3. Analyse chemical behaviour and two chemicals might react with each other.

What is Element?

An element is a pure chemical substance consisting of one type of atom. Examples would be carbon, oxygen, sodium and iron.

What is Atom?

An atom consists of a fixed number of protons, electrons and neutrons, which makes each element unique. Protons and neutrons together make up the nucleus of an atom while the electrons orbit around it.

In the periodic table, a chemical element is represented by a fixed format :

Atomic number = Total number of protons
Atomic symbol = One or two letters from the symbol’s name

The periodic table can be classified in three groups:
1. Metals
2. Metalloids
3. Non metals

Other ways to classify elements:
1. Alkali metals
2. Alkaline earth metals
3. Rare earth
4. Radioactive
5. Transition metals
6. Halogens
7. Inert gases

In this way, we can study the fundamental properties of elements and predict their chemical behaviour.

Learn about how the periodic table works, through this animated learning module, and by the end of it we’re quite certain that you will understand all your chemical elements much better!

Head on to Chemistry for Kids for more such interesting chemistry videos and interactive articles.


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