Organizing the Elements By Chandler G.


At first glance, The Periodic Table may seem rather intimidating. But it has actually been organized to make it easier to use and understand. Much like a library, the table has groups or sections that can help you find the element you are looking for quicker. In the next few posts I will show you more and more how to take advantage of this organization. I will admit that finding Examples that this topic will relate to was relatively difficult. Mainly because the table is a rather absrtact idea and not anything you can phyically observe in everyday life. But i guess it could also be because that how it was constructed came from a dream.

History of the Table

The Periodic Table was organized and designed by Dmitri Mendeleev, a Russian Chemist who lived during the late 1800’s. Originally the Table was organized by weight, which caused a few issues with some elements being in switched places that they shouldn’t be in. though that was later fixed when Dmitri changed the table to be constructed based on the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom.

Now you may be wondering “But Chandler, what does the history of the Periodic Table have anything to do with how its organized?” Well you see the day and age of when  was created, caused the process of designing and structuring to be different. However when Dmitri started the project he had just come back from a chemistry conference that’s main goal was to organize and simplify most aspects of chemistry. But what made this epiphany so out standing was that it came to Dmitri while he was in a dream. He had fallen asleep while trying to figure out how the elements would all align with one another, with all the cards he made laid out on the desk in front of him.


There are several groups all around the table known as families that keep like elements together. Some of these families are called Noble Gases, Halogens, Alkali, Alkaline, and Transitional metals. Each family generally has 5-36 members. But these members will never be found in any other section. In the table below, each colored section represents a family. The way you classify families typically is by the number of electrons in the valence shell, or the outer most electron shell. However there are exceptions and those are found in the center block portion of the table, because their valence shells are varied amongst the elements. Some families are much more reactive than others, such as Halogens are the most reactive and Noble Gases are the least.

Relation To Every Day Life

The Periodic Table is related to academics through studying for majors and minors for college degrees and career choices. When someone chooses a major they sign up for a series of classes to take and study. the same thing happens when you choose a minor.

Degree Components

I, myself, am majoring in aerospace engineering, which requires upwards of 5-6 semesters of sciences and math courses, plus a few english and humanities courses. But regardless of one’s major or minor, each person has a certain formula to follow through college to actually get the degree. Each class is essentially a different element on the Table, and each one is used in many different formulas to creat molecules or compounds, just like how a major needs several different types of classes to complete. and much like Elements are organized in Families, classes are organized by subject, and alot of times need the lower teir class/element to build up to it. The following link is a brief list of required classes to create my desired degree.

Dalton’s Atomic Laws

Again I can already hear you screaming at me “But Chandler, how does the Atomic laws apply to the Periodic table?” Well, I will tell you, its more or less referring to how Compounds and mixtures are similar to creating a degree. Much like how taking a class on some random subject can be a complete waste of time and energy for it will have no use in what you are trying to achieve. Some attoms will have a hard time boonding with one another, and will use more energy than necessary and will not be of use to a molecule or compound.

Relation to Academics

The Periodic Table relates through how its organized. Much like a library it has all of the similar types of elements together. The main difference between the Table and a library is that a library is organized via the Dewy Decimal System while elements are placed, based on there atomic weight and number of electrons in the valence shell.

Dewey Decimal System

The Dewey Decimal System was mainly designed to organize non-fiction books, through the use of subjects or categories, numbering each of from 000-999. Just as an example the Natural Sciences are numbered in the 5oo’s, and from there it would break down into more specific sub-categories. The actual books numbered 500-509 is general works. 510-519 consists of mathematics, the 520-529 books are for astronomy, and so on and so forth with the rest of the sciences. At the end the category notating, there is a decimal to annotate the start of specific topic the book is about, once again divided by tens for specification.

This system is used in every library in the U.S. including the massive Library of Congress. The reason why is because of how successful and efficient the system. As well as its easily repeatable in case if the library doesn’t have the book you are looking for. However it makes it very easy to find the book if they do have it because it will have the same numbered label.


“Dmitry Mendeleev.” Scientists: Their Lives and Works, UXL, 2006. Science in Context, Accessed 17 Nov. 2016.

The Dewey Decimal Classification System. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2016, from

U-M Engineering. (n.d.). Retrieved December 01, 2016, from


One thought on “Organizing the Elements By Chandler G.

  1. gla141262 says:

    I really like how you laid all the information out and how you compared it to yourself and how you have to take 5-6 semesters of science classes and a few math classes. The topic in my opinion goes well with the academic portion.


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