CAcT HomePage

Electronic Periodic Tables of Chemical Elements

Skill to develop

Electronic Periodic Table of Chemical Elements

The Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements contains a lot of information.

For each element, there is an atomic number, atomic weight (or atomic mass), atomic and ionic radii, most common and usual oxidation states, density, electron negativity, electron affinity, ionization potential, state at room temperature, crystal structure, metal, nonmetal, or metalloid, melting point (mp), boiling point (bp), discoveror, naming, number of isotopes & abundance, electron configuration, thermal conductivity, molar volume, standard reduction potentials, etc..

There is just too much for a computer screen to display. However, computers can be used for a data base of the elements.

The link demonstrates how computers can be used to manage a data base, which we call WebElements by Mark Winter from University of Sheffield. Furthermore, there is a Periodic Table Club at Yahoo that has links to a few more websites of periodic tables.

There are many ways to arrange the elements and use colors to make certain points about them. Numbering the groups has been an issue in the past and present. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) assigned 1 to 18 to the groups from left to right. This numbering system is convenient to set up the data in the computer.

Block of elements by highest occupied atomic orbitals

Block of elements by
last filled atomic orbitals
4f - - - - - 4f
5f - - - - - 5f
3d - - - 3d
4d - - - 4d
5d - - - 5d
2p - 2p
3p - 3p
4p - 4p
5p - 5p
6p - 6p
Colors are particularly effective to show blocks of related things. For chemical elements, the highest atomic orbitals occupied by electrons determine the properties of the elements. According to this scheme, the period table can be divided into s, p, d, and f blocks as seen in the table on the right.

This table shows the filling order of atomic orbitals as

2s 2p
3s 3p
4s 3d 4p
5s 4f 4d 5p
6s 5f 5d 6p

The s- and p-blocks of elements are called main group elements. The d-block elements are called transition elements The f-block elements are called the inner transition elements.

In an ordinary periodic table, the s, p, and d block elements are in the main body of the Periodic Table, whereas the f block elements are placed below the main body. If we placed them on the same period where they belong, the Periodic Table would be too long for the screen to accommodate. Thus, we keep the Periodic Table in the usual (long) form.

Properties of Elements

The following are some important properties of an element. Since the properties are required often, abbreviations are often used. Some of the abbreviations are given in parentheses. Some of the common units used are also given, but each Period Table may use other units.

The following are some common questions. As an exercise, please either answer them or find out using the electronic periodic tables on the Internet.

    What is the density (g / mL) of gold? Is this commonly known as a heavy metal?

Confidence Building Questions