INL Interactive Periodic Table offers detailed information on all 118 elements

There is no more enduring reflection of science than the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, which sheds light not only on the essence of chemistry but physics and biology as well. Go into any scientist’s office or lecture hall anywhere in the world and you are likely to see one. Its story is over 200 years old, and throughout its history, it has been a subject for debate, dispute and alteration.

Attempts to classify elements and group them in ways that explained their behavior date back to the 1700s, but the first actual periodic table is generally credited to Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev, a Russian chemist who in 1869 arranged 63 known elements according to their increasing atomic weight. Mendeleev left spaces for elements he expected to be discovered, and today’s periodic table contains 118 elements, starting with hydrogen and ending with oganesson, a chemical element first synthesized in 2002 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, by a team of Russian and American scientists.

The term “periodic” is based on the discovery that elements show patterns in their chemical properties at certain regular intervals. Were it not for the simplification provided by this chart, students of chemistry would need to learn the properties of all 118 known elements. The periodic table allows chemists a shortcut by arranging typical elements according to their properties and putting the others into groups or families with similar chemical characteristics. (In the modern periodic table, a group or family corresponds to one vertical column.)

Idaho National Laboratory has enlisted its experts, researchers and writers to produce an online interactive Periodic Table that offers pop-up information on every single known element. The feature is a testament to the scientific research done at the lab, but also ties into INL’s education and outreach mission, which stretches across Idaho to the most remote and rural places. This mission is evolving all the time, providing relevant and engaging content for teachers and resources for students seeking help with STEM subjects.

*Information for this chart was provided by INL experts along with multiple online sources.