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Periodic Table

The earliest classification categorized elements into metals and non-metals. It was difficult to classify the
elements, such as boron, which exhibited the properties of both metals as well as non-metals. After further
research a German scientist, Dobereiner arrived at a hypothesis in the year 1829.

According to Dobereiner, all elements occurred in groups of three, when arranged in increasing order of atomic
masses. He referred to these groups as triads. In a traid the elements had similar chemical properties.
Traids of the Dobereiners classification:


Atomic mass

Lithium (Li) 7
Sodium (Na)


Potassium (K) 39


Atomic mass

Chlorine (Cl)


Bromine (Br)


Iodine (I)



Atomic mass

Calcium (Ca)


Strontium (Sr)


Barium (Ba)


Dobereiners law of triads states that, the atomic mass of the middle element of a triad is the arithmetic
mean of the atomic masses of the other two elements.
In the triad of lithium, sodium and potassium. The atomic mass of lithium is 7 and the atomic mass of
potassium is 39. The average of masses of lithium and potassium gives atomic mass of sodium 23.
All the known elements could not be arranged in the form of triads.
This law did not hold good for elements with very low or very high atomic mass.

Example: The arithmetic mean of the atomic masses of fluorine 19 and bromine 80, which comes
to 49.5, varies significantly from the atomic mass of chlorine, which is 35.5.
Since Dobereiners law could not successfully group elements, the attempts at classification continued. The
next attempt came in 1864, when an English chemist, John Newlands, stated his observations in the form of
Newlands Law of Octaves.
Newlands Law of Octaves:

When Newlands arranged elements in according to their atomic weights then there was similarity of every
eighth element. Newland described it as "law of octaves".
According to this law every eighth element is similar to that of the first element, similar to the first and the
eighth notes in the musical scale.
Newlands classification of elements:







Si P



Example: When starting from lithium, the eighth element is sodium. Similarly, the eighth element from sodium
is potassium. Lithium, sodium and potassium show similar properties.

Not valid for elements having atomic masses higher than calcium.

Newly discovered elements could not find a place in Newlands table.

Mendeleev's periodic table:

Mendeleev based his work on the research by Newlands and took it further. He felt that effective grouping of
elements and prediction of properties could be based on two parameters:

Atomic mass

Chemical reactivity

Mendeleevs periodic law states that "the physical and chemical properties of all elements are the periodic
function of their atomic masses".

Row Group I

Li = 7



Be = 9

B = 11





C = 12

N = 14

O = 16

F = 19


Na = 23 Mg = 24 Al = 27 Si = 28

P = 31

S = 32

Cl = 35.5

K = 39

V = 51

Cr = 52

Mn = 35

Cu = 63 Zn = 65

Ca = 40
Ti = 48

Rb = 85 Sr = 87

As = 75 Se = 79
Y = 89

Zr = 90

Ag =

Cd =

In = 113 Sn = 118


Cs =

Ba =

La = 138 Ce = 140


Yb = 173
Au =


Hg =

Nb = 94
Sb =

Mo = 96
Te = 128 I = 127

Ta = 182
W = 184

Tl = 204 Pb = 206 Bi = 208

Th =


Br = 80

Fe = 56
Co =
Ni = 58.68
Ru = 103
Rh = 104
Pd = 106

Os = 191
Ir =193
Pt = 196

U = 240

The main features of Mendeleevs periodic table:

The known 63 elements were classified into groups and periods.

The table had 8 vertical columns called groups and 12 horizontal rows called periods.

In every group, a gradation of physical and chemical properties of elements was observed.

The table provided gaps for undiscovered elements.

The table helped to predict the properties of three unknown elements of that time. These elements
were named eka-boron, eka-aluminium and eka-silicon. When these elements were discovered, they
were named scandium, gallium and germanium. The properties of these elements were very close to
those predicted by Mendeleev.

The table helped in the correction of atomic mass for many elements. It predicted the existence of some
elements that have not been discovered at the time the table was created.
The atomic weights of two pairs of elements were reversed.
Alkali metals and coinage metals were placed in the same group.
Lanthanides and actinides were not given proper place in the periodic table.
Isotopes were not placed in the periodic table.
The position of hydrogen was not clearly discussed

The systematic arrangement of elements into groups and periods is called periodic table.
In 1913, Henry Moseley showed that the atomic number of an element is a more fundamental
property than its atomic mass.

So Mendeleevs Periodic law was modified and atomic number was adopted as the basis of the
Modern Periodic Table.
The Modern Periodic Law is stated as: "Properties of elements are a periodic functions of their
atomic number". Atomic number is the basis for modern periodic table.
Atomic number is the number of protons in the nucleus, it is also equal to the number
of electrons in the atom.
Example: In Carbon

The main features of modern periodic table:

Elements are arranged in the increasing order of atomic numbers.

Horizontal rows in the periodic table are called periods and vertical columns in the table
are called groups.

Elements in the modern periodic table are arranged in 7 periods and 18 groups.
Elements are placed in periods based on the number of shells in their atoms.
The shortest period is the first period which contains only two elements
Hydrogen and Helium.
The second period contains elements from Lithium to Neon.
The third period contains elements from Sodium to Argon.
The fourth period contains elements from Potassium to Krypton.
The fifth period contains elements from Rubidium to Xenon.
The sixth period contains elements from Cesium to Radon and seventh period is
Sixth and seventh periods are considered as the longest periods in the periodic table.
Elements were classified into groups based on the number of valence electrons.
According to IUPAC nomenclature the 18 groups in modern periodic table are numbered as 1 to 18.
Types of elements:
The elements in the modern periodic table were classified into four types. They are
Representative elements
Transition elements
Inner transition elements
Noble gases

Representative elements:
The elements of group -1, group-2 and group-13 to group-17 are the representative elements.

Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium and Francium are the elements of this group.
Their general electronic configuration is ns1.
These elements have one electron in their valence shell.

This group elements are also known as alkali metals as the hydroxides of these group elements
are basic in nature and soluble in water.
Beryllium, Magnesium, Calcium, Strontium, Barium and Radium are the elements of this group.
Their general electronic configuration is ns2.
These elements have two electrons in their valence shell.
The hydroxides of these group elements are basic in nature and soluble in water. These elements obtained from earth crust
because of these reasons these elements are called as alkaline earth metals.

Boron, Aluminium, Gallium, Indium and Thallium are the elements of this group. Their

general electronic configuration is ns2np1.

These elements have three electrons in their valence shell.

These group elements mostly form covalent compounds.

Carbon, Silicon, Germanium and Tin are the elements of this group. Their general electronic
configuration is ns2np2.
These elements have four electrons in their valence shell.

Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Arsenic, Antimony and Bismuth are the elements of this group. Their
general electronic configuration is ns2np3.
These elements have five electrons in their valence shell.

These group elements are also called as pnictogens.

Oxygen, Sulphur, Selenium, Tellurium and Polonium are the elements of this group. Their
general electronic configuration is ns2np4.
These elements have six electrons in their valence shell.

This group elements are also known as chalcogens.

Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine and Astatine are the elements of this group. Their
general electronic configuration is ns2np5.
These elements have seven electrons in their valence shell.

This group elements are also called as halogens.

Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Radon and Xenon are elements of this. This group also referred
as zero group. Their general electronic configuration is ns2np6.
These elements have eight electrons (octet configuration) in their valence shell.

This group elements are also known as inert gas elements.

Transition elements:
Elements which contains incomplete penultimate ((n-1):d -sub shell) shell with electrons are called transition elements.
Elements present between the group -2 and group-13 in the modern periodic table are the transition elements. In transition
elements the valency electrons goes to d - sub shell.

General electronic configuration of transition elements is ns2 (n-1)d 1-10.

Transition elements are classified into four series of elements.

They are 3d- series (1st transition series), 4d series (2nd transition series), 5d - Series
(3rd transition series) & 6d series (4th transition series).

Lanthanides and actinides:

Elements which kept kept separately under the table in two seperate rows in the Modern periodic
table are called lanthanides and actindes.
Theses elements contains incomplete anti-penultimate shells ((n-2): f -sub shells). So these
elements are also called as inner transition elements.
General electronic configuration lanathanides and actindies is (n-2) f1-14 (n-1)d0-1 ns2.

Position of Hydrogen in the periodic table:

There is an anomaly when it comes to the position of Hydrogen in the periodic table as it can be
placed either in group I or 17 group of the first period.
Reasons for abnormality regarding the position of hydrogen:
Hydrogen can show properties similar to alkali metals and it has one electron in it valence shell just
similar to alkalimetals.
Just similar to alkali metals it loses one electron to form cation.
Similar to alkali metals it combines with Oxygen, Sulphur and Halogens to form similar compounds.
Hydrogen shows similar properties to halogens.
It exists as a diatomic molecule (H2). Just similar to halogens which exists as X2 (X =F, Cl, Br, I).
Hydrogen combines with metals and non metals to form covalent compounds.
Hydrogen combines with metals to form metal hydrides just similar to halogens which forms halides with metals.
H2 + 2Na 2NaH
Cl2 + 2Na 2NaCl
Because of the above reasons their is uncertainity regarding the position of hydrogen.

The term periodic properties in elements, refers to the properties that recur at regular intervals. The trend of
recurrence of properties is called periodicity. Important periodic properties are:

Atomic radius
Ionization energy
Electron affinity
Metallic and non-metallic character

Atomic radius:
Atomic radius is the distance from the centre of the nucleus to the valence electron in an energy level. Atomic
radius is expressed in angstrom units.
Trend in atomic radius:
The atomic radius decreases across a period due to increase in nuclear charge.
The graph below shows decreasing order of atomic radius in period:
Li > Be > B > N > O

Atomic radius increases down the group due to addition of new shell.
Following graph shows increasing order of atomic radius in group:
Li < Na < K < Rb

Ionization energy:
Ionization Energy is the minimum energy required to remove the outermost electron from a gaseous neutral
atom to form a cation.
The unit for ionization energy is electron volts or kilo joules per mole.
Trend in Ionization energy:
Ionization energy increases across a period due to increase in the nuclear charge.
The following depicts the increase of IE in period.

Ionization energy decreases down the group due increase due to increase in the atomic size (addition of new
The following graph gives decrease of IE in group-1.

Helium has the highest ionization energy in the periodic table while cesium has the lowest ionization energy.
Electron affinity:
The energy released when an electron is added to a neutral gaseous atom is known as electron
affinity. The unit for electron affinity is kilo joules per mole.
It depends mainly on two factors. They are atomic size and nuclear charge.
Atomic size: As the atomic size increases the nucler attraction force on the valence shell decreases. Thus
electron affinity will be more for smaller atomic size elements.
Nuclear charge:
Electron affinity increases with increase in the nuclear charge. With the increase in nucler attraction force the
electron in the valence shell binds strongly to the atom.
Trend in electron affinity:
The electron affinity increases across a period while it decreases down a group.
The zero group elements have the lowest electron affinity values. Halogens posses highest electron affinity in
the periodic table. In halogens chlorine posses highest electron affinity in the periodic table.
The tendency of an atom to attract the shared pair of electrons towards itself is known as electronegativity.
Trend in electronegativity:
Electronegativity increases across a period.
In second period electronegativity increases from lithium to fluorine.
Electronegativity decreases while moving down the group.
In group-1 electronegativity decreases while moving from top to bottom.
In the periodic table, halogens have high electronegativity. Among halogens Fluorine has the highest
electronegativity of 4.0 than Chlorine, Bromine and Iodine.
In the periodic table alkali metals possess very low electronegativity values. Among alkali metals Cesium has
the lowest value of 0.7.

Metallic character:
The tendency of an atom to lose electrons is known as metallic character.
Metallic character decreases across a period and increases down the group.
Metals are highly electropositive in nature.
Non-metallic character:
The tendency of an atom to gain electrons is known as non-metallic character.
Non-metallic character increases across a period and decreases down the group.
Non-metals are more electronegative in nature.
In the periodic table:
Metals are placed on the left side of the periodic table.
Non-metals are placed on the right side of the periodic table.
Metalloids are placed between the metals and the non-metals.