Photographic Periodic Table of the Elements

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Periodic Table of Element Pictures

This periodic table includes photographs of the chemical elements.
This periodic table includes photographs of the chemical elements.

This photographic periodic table of the elements includes thumbnails to show pictures of the elements. The element symbols, atomic weights, and element groups are identified.

Metals, Nonmetals, and Metalloids

Most of the elements on the periodic table (about 75%) are metals. Except for copper and gold, they appear as variations on a theme, in tones of silver and gray. These elements are generally good thermal and electrical conductors. When fresh, they have a shiny metallic luster, although many oxidize in air to appear dull under normal conditions.

The elements along the right side of the periodic table are the nonmetals, which include solids, liquids, and gases. The noble gases on the far right side of the table are all gases at room temperature and pressure.

The metalloids, which are located between the metals and nonmetals, often display different forms or allotropes. Some of these allotropes appear metallic, while others don't. Their properties are intermediate between those of metals and nonmetals. Most make good semiconductors.

We Don't Know What All the Elements Look Like

Elements with a question mark in place of a photo have not been produced in sufficient quantity for anyone to know their appearance yet. These elements are all extremely radioactive. At present, the isotopes decay so quickly they don't stick around long enough to be photographed. In some cases, only an atom or two is produced at a time. It's possible more stable isotopes might be produced at some point so we can see these elements and use them. Even though they haven't been observed, scientists can predict their color, appearance, and properties based on the electron configuration of the atoms and the characteristics of other elements in the same group.

If you'd like to view full-size images of the pure elements, you might enjoy the element photo gallery.