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Periodic Properties

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Introduction to Periodic Properties of Elements

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The basic law that governs the modern periodic table says that the properties of the elements are defined as the periodic functions of their atomic number. These properties reappear either at regular intervals or follow a specific trend at regular intervals. This phenomenon is referred to as the periodicity of elements.


The Occurrence of Periodic Properties of the Elements

To define periodic properties of the elements,  it takes place because of the recurrence of a similar electronic configuration that holds the same electron count in the outermost orbit. In a specific group, the valence electron number remains the same. On the other side, the valence electron number increases as we move from the left to right across a period. And, the chemical property of an element depends on the electron number present in the valence shell.

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An Explanation for Periodic Properties

The element’s periodic properties depend on the valency and the number of shells in an atom. As we started moving down a group, the number of the shell successively increases such that the element’s shell number is equal to the number of periods to which that belongs. And, as we move across a period, the shell number remains similar. The second-period elements are one of the examples of periodic properties which hold two shells.

The atom’s combining capacity is referred to as its valency. It is also equal to the number of electrons either that an atom can donate or accept to fulfill its octet. As we move down a group, the number of electrons in the valence shell remains similar. Hence, the valency of a group is said to be constant. Valency depends on the number of electrons present in the atom’s outermost shell. Consider if the number of electrons is 1, 2, 3, and 4, then the respective valences will become 1, 2, 3, and 4. If the number of electrons in the outermost shell is 5, 6, and 7, then the valency will be given as 8 – 5 = 3, 8 – 6 = 2, and 8 – 7 = 1. Valency is described as the combining capacity of an atom. Therefore, it will always hold a positive value and largely affects the periodic properties.

In a period, the electron number increases, starting from left to right. Resultantly, the electron number required to complete the octet also changes. Therefore, the valency successively increases to 4 in group-14 and then decreases subsequently to 1 in group-17.


Importance of Periodic Table

The periodic table is described as an arranged form of elements in the order of increasing mass numbers. It provides the number of neutrons, protons, and average molar mass, the relative mass of an element, which can be used in the Chemistry calculations. It is also a kind of a list of all the elements that have been discovered to exist. In addition, it gives an idea of whether an element is either metal or non-metal. The periodic table trends and the arrangement of elements into the groups and periods help us identify various trends across the elements.


Significance of the Periodic Table in the Study of Chemistry

The periodic table is described as an extremely valuable achievement of Chemistry. Being based on the Mendeleev-Moseley Periodic law, the Periodic Law provides a clear description of the properties of all the chemical elements, such as a function of their atomic numbers (which are Mendeleev) or of their proton numbers (which are Mosley). Also, the Periodic table is composed of periods and groups. After the quantum theory and the Aufbau principle development, the periodic law and the periodic table form have been explained.

The Atomic build-up, as per the principle of Aufbau, correlates with the properties of the elements and with their electronegativities as well. The most active metals (which is reducer) are in both the first and second groups, where the non-metal properties increase starting from the left to the right. Also, from the bottom to the top of the Periodic table, the metal's properties increase from right to left and from the top to its bottom. The principle of Aufbou describes the transition (which are d-orbital groups of elements) and the f-orbital groups of elements (Lanthanides and Actinides) as well.

Studying about the Periodic table is a good basis for understanding the whole inorganic chemistry and many properties as well in Organic chemistry.


Uses of the Periodic Table

The periodic table is defined as significant for several reasons. There are two primary division groups (which are called vertical columns) and periods (which are called horizontal rows). Let us look at some of the uses of the periodic table as follows.

  • The periodic table explains to us about the reactivity trends. Atoms belong to the same group from ions having similar charge and follow the reactivity trends.

  • It also tells us about physical trends. Atoms belong to a similar group following trends in physical properties (for example, melting points increase down a group).

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. List the major uses of the Periodic table?

Let us look at the important uses of the periodic table as follows:

  • The periodic table offers ways of understanding balancing equations and valency easily by looking at the groups where the atoms fall.

  • It also tells which atoms are more reactive to that of others according to their relative positions and which compounds hold the strongest bonds.

  • It provides an explanation for ionic and covalent bonding.

  • It tells us the symbol, name, nucleon number, and atomic number. This tells us the number of protons, electrons, neutrons, and several phenomena that can be explained using these three values.

2. Why is the periodic table called so?

The periodic table has got its name, noticing the way the elements are arranged in rows, which are referred to as periods.

The table columns are known as groups, containing specific names, such as the halogens and noble gases.

Every element that belongs to a period contains a similar number of atomic orbitals.

3. Explain the characteristics of the periodic table?

A few of the characteristics of the periodic table can be listed as follows:

  • The table consists of many horizontal rows called periods.

  • The first period contains two elements. And, the second and third period consists of 8 elements.

  • Elements in the period exhibit different properties.

  • There are 18 vertical columns present in a periodic table called groups.

4. What does the modern periodic table mean by?

Let us get to know some things about the modern periodic table as follows:

  • The modern Periodic table has 7 horizontal rows known as periods 1 to 7.

  • Similarly, the 18 vertical columns are given as the groups from 1 to 18.

  • The period and Group arrangement result in the formation of boxes.

  • The serially atomic numbers are indicated in the upper part of these boxes.