The periodic table is an organized arrangement of the chemical elements, created on the basis of their atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus), electron configurations, and their recurring chemical properties. Elements are presented in order of increasing atomic number, which is typically listed with the chemical symbol in each box. The standard form of the table consists of a grid of elements laid out in 18 columns and 7 rows, with a double row of elements below that.
The rows of the table are called periods; the columns are called groups, with some of these having names such as halogens or noble gases. Since a periodic table incorporates recurring trends, the table can be used to derive relationships between the properties of the elements and predict the properties of new elements. As a result, a periodic table provides a helpful framework for analyzing chemical behavior and are widely used in chemistry and other sciences.
Dmitri Mendeleev is generally credited with the publication, in 1869, of the first widely recognized periodic table. He developed his table to illustrate periodic trends in the properties of the elements. Mendeleev also predicted some properties of then-unknown elements that would be expected to fill gaps in this table. Most of his predictions were proved correct when the elements in question were subsequently discovered. Mendeleev's periodic table has since been expanded and refined with the discovery or synthesis of further new elements and the development of new theoretical models to explain chemical behavior.
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