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Periodic table of elements is inaccurate

  1. Jun 29, 2008 #1
    is there a better way to chart elements? surely chemicals characteristics dont behave by atomic number
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2008 #2


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    Well, instead of looking at the atomic number, you should look at the properties of elements in each column, and you will see similarities in properties. Like first row, other than hydrogen, all of them are metals and highly reactive. You do not want to put a chunk of sodium in water. Reactivity usually decreases in metals as it goes to the right. Also notice how nonmetals are all in the right side except hydrogen. The last row is non reactive. There are other things in the periodic table in which you can predict an element's properties. It is not exact, but there are patterns.
  4. Jun 30, 2008 #3
    They're organized by their atomic number, therefore the table has a lot of organization of valence number. Elements with the same number in their valence shell often have quite similar properties and reactivity characteristics, ex: sodium and potassium, fluorine and chlorine. It so happens that electronegativity and ionization energy follow a decently organized pattern with the table.

    Reading up on valence shells might help you understand why the periodic table is considered so useful and, in general, why atomic number is a very useful predictor of general characteristics.

    The following image is from wikipedia.

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