Learn about the Periodic Table!
The Periodic Table is a simple list of all of the elements. The elements are arranged by their atomic number. The information given for each element includes the atomic number, symbol, name and mass number. The vertical columns of the table are called groups and the horizontal rows are called periods.
The Periodic Table works by setting out elements in a way that highlights their similarities. Elements in the same group (column) have similar properties. The properties change gradually along periods (rows) in the table. You will see that the elements on the left are metals and the elements on the right are non-metals, but these groupings are rather large. Therefore, the metals are divided up into three groups – alkali metals such as magnesium; the transition metals such as iron; and the inner transition metals such as uranium. As you work your way across the periods, the atomic number increases. Also, you will find that at the start of a period elements have one electron in their outer shell but by the end they have eight!