Getting and staying organized: it’s a challenge. Everywhere you look, humans are constantly trying to organize things in the most efficient way possible. Here in this hardware store, the myriad items for sale need to be organized so that the shoppers can find what they need as quickly and easily as possible. This organization works on multiple levels such as by aisle number or by manufacturer or by price. Likewise, the periodic table is a marvelously organized tool that chemists use to keep track of chemical elements. The placement of each element on the table easily tells the chemist valuable information about that element’s physical and chemical properties. In this chapter you will learn how the periodic table was developed and how it can be used to make learning chemistry easier.
Opening image courtesy of HazelBlk. CC-BY 3.0.