This pictorial periodic table is colorful, fun, and packed with information for anyone with an interest in chemistry. In addition to the element’s name, symbol, and atomic number, each element box has a drawing of one of the element’s main human uses or natural occurrences, making this version of the periodic table practical and easy to digest.

The table is color-coded to show the chemical groupings. Small symbols pack in additional information: solid/liquid/gas, color of element, common in the human body, common in the earth’s crust, magnetic metals, noble metals, radioactive, and rare or never found in nature.

It is produced by Keith Enevoldsen at elements.wlonk.com, and is available for purchase as a poster.  Visit the site to take an interactive tour.  Click on the images below for a larger, more legible version.

Periodic Table of Elements in Pictures
Periodic table of elements in pictures

This textual periodic table is packed with even more information.

In addition to the element’s name, symbol, and atomic number, each element box contains a textual description of the element’s physical properties and a list of several of its human uses and/or natural occurrences.

The table is color-coded to show the chemical groups, and each group is described in a panel of the same color.

Other info panels describe atomic structure, chemical bonding, and radioactivity. It provides some simple rules-of-thumb about atomic weights and valence numbers.

Periodic Table of Elements in WordsPeriodic table of elements in text

Speaking of Periodic Tables… What is the Periodic Table?

Here’s a simple definition from the Wikipedia:

The periodic table of the chemical elements is a list of known elements.  In the table, the elements are placed in the order of their atomic numbers starting with the lowest number. The atomic number of an element is the same as the number of protons in that particular atom.

In the periodic table, the elements are arranged into periods and groups.

  • A row of elements across the table is called a period.   Each period has a number; from 1 to 8. Period 1 has only 2 elements in it: hydrogen and helium. Period 2 and Period 3 both have 8 elements. Other periods are longer. Elements in a period have consecutive atomic numbers.
  • A column of elements down the table is called a group. There are 18 groups in the standard periodic table. Each group has a number: from 1 to 18. Elements in a group have electrons arranged in similar ways, which gives them similar chemical properties (they behave in similar ways). For example, group 18 is known as the noble gases because they are all gases and they do not combine with other atoms.

The periodic table has been used by chemists to observe patterns and relationships between elements. There are 3 main groups in in the Periodic Table; metals, metalloids, and gases.  Elements to the bottom and far left of the table are the most metallic, and elements on the top right are the least metallic. (e.g. cesium is much more metallic than helium).