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Periodic table

The periodic table of the chemical elements is a tabular method of displaying the chemical elements, first devised in 1869 by the Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev.

Mendeleev intended the table to illustrate recurring ("periodic") trends in the properties of the elements.

The layout of the table has been refined and extended over time, as many new elements have been discovered since Mendeleev's time, and new theoretical models have been developed to explain chemical behavior.

Various layouts are possible to emphasize different aspects of behavior; the most common forms, however, are still quite similar to Mendeleev's original design.

The main value of the periodic table is the ability to predict the chemical properties of an element based on its location on the table.

It should be noted that the properties vary differently when moving vertically along the columns of the table, than when moving horizontally along the rows.

The periodic table is now ubiquitous within the academic discipline of chemistry, providing an extremely useful framework to classify, systematize and compare all the many different forms of chemical behavior.

The table has also found wide application in physics, biology, engineering, and industry.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Periodic table", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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