Monday, 26 March 2012

The Periodic Table

  • Understand the terms group and period
  • Recall the positions of metals and non-metals in the Periodic Table
  • Explain the classification of elements as metals or non-metals on the basis of their electrical conductivity and the acid-base character of their oxides
  • Understand why elements in the same group of the Periodic Table have similar chemical properties
  • Recall the noble gases (group 0) as a family of inert gases and explain the lack of reactivity in terms of their electronic configuration

  • The periodic table is a list of elements arranged in order of their increasing atomic (proton) number.
  • A period is a horizontal row of elements--the number of electron shells is the same as the period number of the element.
  • A group is a vertical column of elements--the number of valence electrons (outer shell electrons) is the same as the group number of the element.
    • Since elements with similar electronic configurations have similar chemical properties, we can deduce that elements in the same group have similar chemical properties.
  • The block of metals between Groups 2 and 3 are known as the transition elements/metals, these form coloured compounds.

Chemical Properties

  • Usually have 1-3 electrons in their outer shell
  • Lose their valence electrons easily
  • Form oxides that are basic
  • Are good reducing agents

  • Usually have 4-8 electrons in their outer shell
  • Gain or share valence electrons
  • Form oxides that are acidic
  • Are good oxidizing agents

Physical Properties

  • Good electrical and heat conductors
  • Malleable—can be hit and shaped
  • Ductile—can be stretched into wire
  • Possess metallic luster (shiny)
  • Opaque as thin sheet
  • Solid at room temperature (except Mercury [Hg]- liquid)

  • Poor conductors of heat and electricity
  • Brittle- if a solid
  • Non-ductile
  • Do not possess metallic luster
  • Transparent as a thin sheet
  • Solids, liquids or gases at room temperature


Noble Gases (Group 0):
  • Least reactive elements in the periodic table.
  • Apart from helium (which has 2), the rest have 8 valence electrons--all have full outer shells.
  • Their full electronic structures make them unreactive.
  • Group 0 elements also referred to as inert gases (because they are unreactive) or rare gases (because less than 1% of the air is made up of these gases).
  • Noble gases do not react to form compounds because their atoms have full outer shells of electrons, it is energetically easier to stay as they are. 
    The noble gases are:
  • Monatomic elements
  • All colorless gases at room temperature
  • Have low melting and boiling points that increase going down the group (As atoms get bigger, there is greater intermolecular attraction that require more energy to break.)
  • Insoluble in water
  • Unreactive
just thought this was cool :P 


  1. can u post stuff on physical chemistry section 4? tank u

  2. Hey look at the 'Acids, alkalis and salts' post. What else from Section 4 do you need? I have other bits and pieces from it in other posts..get back to me if you still don't understand smth though. :)

  3. dont understand how the polymers of alkenes and alkanes work! draw the displayed formulas for that as well!

  4. see the 'polymer' post, hope it makes sense now. but i'm not sure if you're confused about alkanes/alkenes and their displayed formula, or addition polymerisation and the polymers. :S could you clarify if my new post didn't help?

  5. addition polymerisation cunfuzzles me!

  6. thank u so much! this is awesome! :)

  7. hey michelle what about the sections
    Group 7 elements — chlorine, bromine and iodine
    and Oxygen and oxides? i would really appriciate it if u could do them becuase they r in my periodic table syllabus :)

  8. can u post stuffs on the trends,physical and chemical properties of group 1 elements...

    1. Hey sorry this is so late, I've been away on summer. Anyways, I've just updated the following post to include more detail about the Group 1 elements.

  9. Thank you for all your help its really helped with tests :)

  10. This whole website saved my life thank you so much for taking the time to produce these amazing notes <3

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Note: This blog will no longer be updated as I finished IGCSEs in 2012. Sorry! :( If you are interested in buying IB notes though, please contact me. :)