The periodic table organizes elements according to similar properties in order to predict the characteristics of an element just by looking at its position on the table.
Earlier the periodic table was used to predict the chemical and physical properties. But currently, we can also predict the properties of elements which are yet to be discovered by using periodic table, although these new elements are all highly radioactive and break down into a more familiar element.
Though it’s not impossible, it is very hard to remember all the elements of the periodic table and its properties. Rather than memorize facts and figures for each element, a quick glance at the table reveal a lot about the reactivity of an element, whether it is likely to conduct electricity, whether it is hard or soft, and many other characteristics.
Elements in the same column as each other (groups) share similar properties. For example, the elements in the first column (the alkali metals) are all metals that usually carry a 1+ charge in reactions, react vigorously with water, and combine readily with nonmetals.
Trends or Periodicity
The periodic table is organized according to trends in element properties:
Moving Left to Right Across the Row
- Atomic Radius Decreases
- Ionization Energy Increases
- Electron Affinity Generally Increases (except Noble Gases)
- Electronegativity Increases
Moving Top to Bottom Down a Column
- Atomic Radius Increases
- Ionization Energy Decreases
- Electron Affinity Usually Decreases Moving Down a Group
- Electronegativity Decreases
To conclude, the periodic table is important because it is organized to provide a lot of information about elements and how they relate to each other in one easy-to-use reference: