Last updated: August 16, 2021

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From a pedagogical point of view, knowledge of the chemical elements is important for people who are being trained in science. For this reason, today we will share quality material on the periodic table, which also helps those who are not discerning in the subject.

At first glance you will see a lot of colourful pictures. The truth is that the table organises all the materials in an informative matrix. They are placed like this: from top to bottom, in ascending order of atomic number and increasing mass, and also from right to left so that you can locate them better.

It is obvious that this object of study offers a practical solution in itself: it solves the problem of disordered substances. Do you have difficulty in understanding chemical composition, properties and transformations? Then don't miss out on this new edition dedicated exclusively to the grouping of components.




Summary

  • The periodic table is an instrument in the form of a large square created for scientists and students to quickly find out the mass, number of electrons and unique properties of metallic and non-metallic parts, arranged on the right and left sides of the grid.
  • What does the matrix look like? Distinguish between the traditional approach, the Maya format or the repeating unit format. Although they are closely related, the way they represent the content is different. So make sure you choose the right one.
  • Information, size, print and format are the four buying factors we have looked at in depth. We suggest you look at each of them with the highest student or professional criteria. This is the only way to ensure that you get the ideal chemical picture.

The Best Periodic Table: Our Picks

It is common for there to be confusion and even anxiety when it comes to choosing this tool. But you needn't worry, because we've compiled a list of the seven most popular products on the internet, and of course, the top-rated by the shoppers who prefer them.

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Periodic Tables

Pay attention to all the details we've listed in this structured buying guide. And put aside any possible confusion about the groupings of chemical components. You'll find that just by reading our content, making the right decision is simpler than you thought.

Check your table of chemical compounds is necessary for experiments.
(Photo: Geralt/pixabay.com)

What is a periodic table and what are its advantages?

It is a structure that presents all the chemical elements in a matrix, hence the name. To order them, they are based on the atomic number identified by the letter Z, the properties and electronic configuration of the electrons. Finally this is converted into a simplified grid.

This structure has rows and columns, known as periods and groups, respectively. Substances that share certain characteristics are placed in the same column. Thanks to this logic, the table functions as a useful tool for analysing scientific behaviour.

It is considered by some as "the heart of chemistry", and since its creation it has been used as a common instrument in educational institutions, specialised laboratories and professional spaces. It is therefore a basic tool in any environment where this subject is worked with.

Advantages
  • Organise the chemical elements
  • Compare properties
  • Differentiate metals and non-metals
  • Group similar elements
  • Easily locate the components
Disadvantages
  • Too much information in not enough space
  • Confusing formats
  • Does not reflect the exact distribution of electrons
  • Difficult to interpret
  • Certain groups are not in the main body

Traditional, Mayan or repeating element periodic table - what should you pay attention to?

Many people wonder which is the right version of the periodic table of the elements for the study of chemistry. Broadly speaking, they all contain the same information, but presented in different ways. It is therefore essential that you are familiar with their characteristics.

Traditional

This is an expanded and improved version of the table published by the Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleyev in 1869, in which the units are arranged according to their chemical properties. It originally contained 63 components, and later new ones were added.

The Swiss chemist Alfred Werner designed the structure used today, consisting of 18 columns, indicating similar chemical behaviour. It has 118 substances ranked according to atomic number, according to the version published in 2015.

Maya

It is arranged in electronic layers, and is so named because it resembles the calendar of this ancient civilisation. The columns become seven different rings. In the central area of the circumference are hydrogen and helium.

This presentation has the advantage that it allows each unit to be related to a noble gas, found on the vertical line similar to twelve o'clock on a clock, in yellow. The greater the distance, the smaller the reaction between them.

Repeated elements

Ronald L. Rich proposed this format where parts appear more than once in different groups. These relationships occur based on certain chemical properties and similarities, such as valences or electronegativity.

For example, carbon and silicon are in the same group as titanium and zirconium. For its part, hydrogen shares qualities with the groups carbon, 1 and 17, in terms of valence, non-metallic qualities and chemical bonding to transition metals, respectively.

Traditional Mayan Repeated elements
Organisation Atomic number Electronic layers Chemical similarities
Element repetition Once Once As many as necessary
Layout Columns Circular Columns
Distribution Periods and groups Periods and groups Periods and groups
Colour Yes Yes Yes

Consult the periodic table online from your computer.
(Photo: Angellodeco / 123rf.com)

Purchasing Criteria

The market offers you different alternatives when it comes to periodic tables. Given this reality, it is normal for you to have doubts about how to choose the right one for you. That is why we have created all the necessary criteria for you to buy the best one. Take note of each one and don't forget what it's all about.

Content

In general, any periodic table contains basic information about the units. However, some models have more specialised details, which require more space for them. To know how specific it needs to be, assess the context in which you will use it. That way it will meet your expectations.

  • Symbology: Indispensable in any periodic table presentation. It consists of an abbreviation or a distinctive symbol for a chemical element, derived from Greek, German, English, Latin, Russian or French. If you need a basic tool for your work or studies, make sure it includes at least this nomenclature.
  • Name: This refers to the nouns of all the chemical compounds; haven't you learnt the meaning of the symbols that make up the table yet? Then get one where you can see the common names. For example, carbon, oxygen or aluminium. That way an uneducated person will be able to understand it.
  • Atomic number: This refers to the total number of protons contained in the atoms of a particular chemical. It is usually represented by the letter Z and is found as a subscript on the left. Want to understand the order of the components logically? See to it that yours has this information.
  • Valence: This number incorporates the number of electrons an element needs to reach its maximum energy level. It is indispensable information when studying basic concepts, as it is used to calculate reactions or chemical bonds between combinations of substances.

Size

Because you will find multiple frames, it is normal to have doubts about how big your matrix should be. Carefully evaluate the place where you are going to place it, as well as the purpose for which you need it. And of course, the amount of money you are willing to invest. Once you are ready, choose one of the proposals.

Small

With its dimensions of 7.5 cm x 12.5 cm, it is ideal for use as a bookmark or to carry in a diary. Due to its small size, it may contain elementary information, such as the chemical symbol. Therefore, it is only a basic and accessible tool.

Medium

Are you looking for an instrument that contains important chemical information and does not take up much space? Opt for a 13 cm x 20 cm format that you can carry in your wallet and refer to when you need it. It also makes it easy to read important, somewhat tiny elements such as valence or atomic number.

Large

In this 100 cm x 120 cm presentation you will have all the value data that are part of the table and that you might have to do without in smaller samples. Recommended as an information board. It costs more and takes up a lot of space in your environment.

Extra large

Do you work in a professional environment where you need to have everything related to the periodic table at your fingertips? You might want to invest in a model with high promotions: 150 cm x 200 cm. Make sure it fits the place where you will place it. However, bear in mind that it will require a higher investment.

Design

You have several possible options to choose from. How do you know which one is the most convenient? Evaluate your budget, the details you need to handle and your taste, of course. After all, you can also use this tool as a decorative item in your lab or study area.

  • Black and white: Traditional print tone. Do you like vintage accessories and decoration? With a black and white version you will create a workspace similar to the one used by early scientists, such as Dmitri Mendeleyev and Julius Lothar Meyer, the separate creators of the first periodic tables.
  • Colour: Generally more expensive than the previous one, although pleasing to the eye. Within the periodic table, colours are used to classify the elements into metals, non-metals, metalloids, and the respective subcategories. To quickly distinguish which group a component belongs to, this is your best choice.
  • Laminate: A special glossy film that is superimposed on the paper on one or both sides, giving it an elegant finish and considerable strength. It is machine-glued. Invest in this variant if you want your accessory to have a certain rigidity and durability against external factors.
  • Embossing: When you buy boards with this type of printing, touching each unit with your fingertips will give you an unforgettable experience. They are recommended for children to interact with the materials and be attracted to the world of chemistry, and are also useful for teachers and professionals.

Enjoy the passion of doing new tests in the lab.
(Photo: Jarmoluk/pixabay.com)

Form

Different chemical tables have been developed over the years. They all contain broadly the same information, but in a hierarchical order according to certain scientific criteria. Choose the one that best suits the needs of your work, studies or professional research.

Grid

The most commonly used structure today. In it, the elements are arranged according to their atomic numbers, descending from top to bottom, from one side to the other. The horizontal rows are called periods and the vertical rows are called groups or families. Looking for an easy-to-understand periodic table? This is your best choice.

Spiral

Proposed by Theodore Benfey in 1960. It has 32 groups, eight periods and spaces for parts not yet discovered. It organises the units according to increasing atomic number, electronic configuration and chemical properties. Choose it if you want to work with an effective format that is different from the standard one.

Three-dimensional

It was designed by chemist Paul Antoine Giguere in 1966. It resembles a flower and consists of four walls with substances written on the front and back. Do you like decorative instruments wherever you put them? This alternative shape will certainly make a difference.

(Featured image photo: Adriano/123rf.com)

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