The Periodic Table

  • Study Guide

Reading the Periodic Table

Summary Reading the Periodic Table

Types of Elements

Elements can be organized by group or period, but they also can be placed into three distinct groups: metals, semi-metals, and non-metals.


Metals are the pink section on the left side of . Metals are generally lustrous solids, often deformable (though mercury (Hg) is a liquid at room temperature). Metals are highly conducive to both heat and electricity.


Nonmetals are the blue boxes on the upper right hand of the periodic table. More than half of the non-metals are gaseous at normal temperatures.


Semimetals are the green boxes on the periodic table. As their transitory name and placement on the periodic table suggest, they exist in between the distinctions of metals and nonmetals.

Metals and Nonmetals

Most chemical compounds are formed by the interactions between metals and non- metals.

Further Periodic Trends

Beyond those trends described here, there are a number of further periodic trends such as atomic size, ionization energy, electron affinity, and electronegativity. We will discuss these trends in the atomic structure SparkNote, since we must have a better understanding of atomic structure before getting into their specifics.