Science, Tech, Math › Science All About the Periodic Table Share Flipboard Email Print Jon Feingersh/Getty Images Science Chemistry Periodic Table Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated March 21, 2019 The periodic table of the elements is one of the most important tools used by chemists and other scientists because it summarizes useful information about the chemical elements in a format that shows relationships between the elements. Get Your Own Periodic Table You can find the periodic table in any chemistry textbook, plus there are apps for referring to the table from your phone. However, sometimes it's nice to be able to have one open on your computer, to save one to your desktop, or to print one off. Printed periodic tables are great because you can mark them up and not worry about ruining your book. Use Your Periodic Table A tool is only as good as your ability to use it! Once you are familiar with the way the elements are organized, you can locate them more quickly, get information from the periodic table, and draw conclusions about the properties of elements based on their location on the table. Periodic Table History Many people consider Dmitri Mendeleev to be the Father of the Modern Periodic Table. Mendeleev's table was slightly different from the table we use today in that his table was ordered by increasing atomic weight and our modern table is ordered by increasing atomic number. However, Mendeleev's table was a true periodic table because it organizes the elements according to recurring trends or properties. Get to Know the Elements Of course, the periodic table is all about the elements. The elements are identified by the number of protons in an atom of that element. Right now, you'll see 118 elements on the periodic table, but as more elements are discovered, another row will be added to the table. Quiz Yourself Because it's necessary to know what the periodic table is and how to use it, you can expect to be tested about it from grade school pretty much until the end of time. Before your grade is on the line, probe your strengths and weaknesses with online quizzes. You might even have fun!