The Periodic Table Terms
Get down with the lingo
ActinidesThe actinides comprise elements 89 through 103. They, along with the actinides, are often called the f-elements because they have valence electrons in the f shell.
Alkali MetalsThe alkali metals make up the first column (group) of the periodic table, and comprise Li through Fr.
Alkaline Earth MetalsThe alkaline earth metals make up the second column (group) of the periodic table, from Be through Ra.
Atomic NumberThe atomic number is the number of protons in an atomic nucleus.
Atomic OrbitalAtomic orbitals are regions of space around the nucleus of an atom where an electron is most likely to be found.
Atomic RadiusThe atomic radius is the total distance from an atom's nucleus to the outermost electron orbital.
Atomic WeightThe atomic weight is the average mass of an atom of an element.
Chemical SymbolA chemical symbol is a notation of one or two letters representing a chemical element.
ConductorA material that conducts heat or electricity, which means electrons can easily flow through the object.
DiatomicA complex consisting of two atoms.
The D-blockThe d-block is the section of elements on the periodic table in groups 3 – 12.
Electron AffinityElectron affinity is the amount of energy absorbed when an electron is added to an atom.
ElectronegativityElectronegativity is a measure of the attraction an atom has for electrons.
ElementAn element is a substance composed of atoms with identical atomic number.
ExothermicExothermic is the term used to describe a reaction that releases heat.
The F-blockThe f-block is the section of elements below the main section of the periodic table consisting of the lanthanide and actinide elements.
FamilyA family is also called a group. It is a column of elements in the periodic table that all have similar properties.
Flame TestA flame test is a test for detecting the presence of certain metals by determining the color they emit when put in a flame.
GroupA group is also called a family. It is a column of elements in the periodic table that all have similar properties.
HalogensThe halogen elements are a subset of the nonmetals. They comprise group 17 of the periodic table, from F through At.
Ionization EnergyThe ionization energy is the energy needed to remove an electron from an atom.
LanthanidesThe lanthanides comprise elements 57 through 71. Along with the actinides they are often called the f-elements because they have valence electrons in the f shell.
Main-Group ElementsGroups 1-2 and 13-18 are called the main-group elements.
MalleabilityMalleability means an object is capable of being hammered into sheets or shapes.
MetalloidsMetalloids are also called semi-metals. They are the elements B, Si, Ge, As, Sb, Te, and Po.
MetalsA metal is a substance that conducts heat and electricity, is shiny, and can be hammered into sheets or drawn into a wire.
Noble GasesThe noble gases comprise group 18. They are generally very stable, colorless, and odorless.
Non-MetalsThe term non-metals is used to classify the elements H, C, N, P, O, S, and Se.
Oxidation StateThe oxidation state is the charge associated with an atom.
OxideAn oxide is a compound composed of a metal and oxygen.
The P-blockThe p-block is the section of the periodic table composed of the last six groups or columns.
PeriodA period is a horizontal row of the periodic table.
Periodic LawThe periodic law is the principle that the properties or characteristics of the elements recur periodically as their atomic numbers increase.
The S-blockThe s-block is the section of elements on the periodic table composed of the first two groups or columns.
Transition MetalsThe transition elements are metals that have a partially filled d subshell and comprise groups 3 through 12 and the lanthanides and actinides.
Valence ElectronsValence electrons are the electrons of an atom that are highest in energy and in the outermost orbitals.
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