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Chemical Element Symbols and the Key of the Periodic Table
there has to be some kind of shorthand for practitioners of any endeavor to use when writing repetitively about items of interest.
Alchemists - at least John Dalton - is said to have used the symbols below to indicate various elements.
The limited number of chemicals known of at that time, and the meager information about them are reflected in the simplicity of the symbology, while the great amount of data abailable today is greater than can readily fit in a reasonable size element data box of a book-size periodic table.
Any periodic table showing more than the most basic of information in the element boxes will have - somewhere outside of the table - a reference diagram called a KEY.
The key above is more complete than most, and belongs with a large online chart. As the chart, derived from a production of Permachart, is not interactive - as the more popular online periodic tables are, most everything a student would need to know about a given element is in each of the boxes, which can easily be enlarged for easier reading.
Some of the more generally popular properties/symbols are;
• Atomic Radius
• Boiling Point
• Covalent Radius
• Cross Section
• Crystal Structure
• Electrical Conductivity
• Electronegativity (Pauling)
• Heat of Vaporization
• Ionic Radius
• Ionization Potential
• Mass Average
• Melting Point
• Boiling Point
• Freezing Point
• Symbol (letters)
• thermal Conductivity
• Year of Discovery
The two keys on the left below the text on this page are examples of the kinds of specialist periodic tables that are in use in different areas of chemistry.
At the far left is the key for the Railsback PT. Bruce Railsback recently retooled the standard periodic table of the elements for easier interpretation of Earth processes. Chemical and biochemical reactions constantly form new minerals and reform old minerals, through processes like dissolution, crystallization, and even weathering. So geologists rely heavily on chemistry and the properties of elements in order to understand how naturally-occurring elements move around on and in Earth.
The table is arranged according to elemental charges, rather than their atomic weights.
This pinpoints one of the most apparent differences in Railsback's version: One element can appear multiple times, carrying the different charges that it does in nature.
The center key is also to be found online - at Sandia Nationl Lab website - accompanying a periodic table designed to aid scientists information on the sensitivity, depth of analysis and depth resolution of most of the modern ion beam analysis (IBA) techniques in a single easy to use format: a periodic table. The interactivity of the table allows a user to obtain even more information on the IBA of a selected element, such as collision cross sections and even sites where you can download programs to analyze IBA data.
Symbols and the Key