Periodic Table of the Elements

The Periodic Table is a tabular arrangement of all known chemical elements, designed to provide basic information about each, including such details the atomic number, electron configurations, chemical properties and relationships to other elements. These elements form the base of all substances in existence. Many are required for the manufacture of the radios we use, as well as computers, cell phones and other electronics. Some of the Rare Earth Elements, in particular, are needed for today's advanced technologies, which occasionally causes some political and international controversies, since these elements are difficult to find and available in quantity from only a few locations.

The Table was as we know it today was developed in 1869 by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. It has since grown and been revised as new information is found and new elements discovered or created. Today the International Union of Applied and Pure Chemistry (IUAPC) is the international custodian of the Periodic Table. They enforce strict rules concerning the Table's revision, the naming of new elements and other factors. See the Resources section below for more information.