The periodic table is a graphic display of all the known chemical elements that have been discovered. It gives details about their atomic number and chemical symbol. The elements are grouped together according to similar properties that they possess. The table is color-coded to show different groups such as the alkali metals, the alkali earths, the halogens, and the noble gases. It is used primarily in the study of chemistry and physics as it shows how different elements will interact with one another. It is also used in fields such as geology, biology, materials science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, nutrition, environmental health, and astronomy. It was invented by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.
The Number of Elements in the Periodic Table
The first periodic table was designed by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869 and had only 65 elements. It had a large number of gaps that showed where elements should be, but had not yet been discovered. As scientific discovery of the elements continued, elements were added to the table and the table readjusted to take into account the atomic number of elements and their reaction to other substances. Currently, the periodic table currently has a total of 118 elements and contains no gaps. It is by no means thought to be complete and scientists continue to work towards discovering and synthesizing other elements.
Did you know?
Element 112 is officially the most recent element to be named, although there are 6 more elements with temporary names waiting to be added. Copernicium is a super heavy element and is approximately 277 times heavier than hydrogen. Element 112 was officially named Copernicium in 2011, after astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, and is represented the symbol Cn.
Through his work Dmitri Mendeleev predicted the existence of many elements and their characteristics. Although some ridiculed his ideas he was later shown to be correct and very accurate with many of his predictions. In 1870 he provided accurate predictions for the future discovery of scandium, gallium, technetium and germanium and a year later he predicted an element between thorium and uranium (known as protactinium).