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Exploring the Periodic Table through Symbols and Names

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Students, Teachers, Professionals and Scientists utilize the periodic table of elements to look for Chemical elements. The father of the periodic table, Dimitri Mendeleev presented the first form of periodic table. The periodic table through symbols and names is formulated on the basis of atomic mass of elements. The only issue with that periodic table was that not all elements were mentioned in it and consisted of limited information. Therefore, the latest periodic table was introduced considering Henry Moseley’s modern periodic law , framed on the basis of atomic mass of elements. The periodic table consist of 118 Elements.

According to the Periodic Law, the prospects of elements are periodic functions of their respective atomic numbers. 

Characteristics of Periodic Table with Names

All the elements are arranged in the ascending order as per their atomic number. 

  1. Every element in the periodic table is denoted with a unique number and not according to the entire name as it can be long as well as complicated in nature. 
  2. These elements are also arranged both horizontally as well as vertically. The ones arranged in vertical order are called “Groups” and the ones presented horizontally are named as “Periods”. 
  3. Moreover, elements are also arranged as per periodic trends and characteristics. 

Derivation of Element Symbols and their significance

A symbol that represents any chemical element is called its “notation” or “sign” and consists of one or two letters. However, there are few symbols that consist of three letters, representing integrated elements that are new along with few having them as temporary symbols. 

Most of the element symbols are derived from the element name itself taking its initial first or second letters. However, there are few elements that are derived from Greek or Latin names. For example:

The Latin word for Iron is Ferrum and its symbol therefore is “Fe”.

  1. Gold is called Aurum in Latin and its symbol is “Au”.

Atomic Number and Valency of an Element

The most stable configuration is of noble gas, which every element tries to achieve and during that process, it tends to both lose as well as achieve some electrons. This ability of an atom to either gain or lose electrons for the sake of achieving stable or inert gas configuration is called as Valency of an element. Electrons in the outermost shell are referred to as valence electrons  whereas the outermost shell is called the valence shell.  In other words, the valency of an element is calculated with the number of electrons in the outermost shell. This is where, periodic table with names plays a vital role where electronic configuration and atomic number has to be analyzed. 

An element comprises a single kind of atom and it is the smallest and invisible unit of matter. It includes protons, electrons and neutrons. Nucleus is the centre of an atom that is charged positively and includes both protons and neutrons. Protons are charged positively whereas neutrons are neutral and have no charge on them. The nucleus is covered with negatively charged electrons. 

Atomic Mass 

The sum of neutrons and protons is called the atomic mass of an element. The atomic number is called the total protons present in the nucleus of an atom. It is also denoted with the alphabet Z. The chemical properties of that element are formed on the basis of protons count in the nucleus. This is where the significance of the Periodic Table with Names and Symbols comes into consideration. 


Among all 118 elements, 98 are discovered within the environment (those with atomic numbers 1- Hydrogen ‘H’ to atomic number 98 – Californium ‘Cf’ in the periodic table), with the remainder synthesized in a laboratory from naturally existing elements. However, this figure may vary with time and improved knowledge, as several elements discovered after radioactive decay during nuclear testing tests, and therefore first thought to be man-made, have later been discovered in nature, although in small amounts. 


  1. Name a few of the elements that occur in pure form?

Ans. Some of the noble gasses like Neon, Helium, Argon etc. are some of the few elements

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