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The Periodic Table: History of the Elements

Periodic table, in full periodic table of the elements, in chemistry, the organized array of all the chemical elements in order of increasing atomic number—i.e., the total number of protons in the atomic nucleus. When the chemical elements are thus arranged, there is a recurring pattern called the “periodic law” in their properties, in which elements in the same column (group) have similar properties. The initial discovery, which was made by Dmitry I. Mendeleyev in the mid-19th century, has been of inestimable value in the development of chemistry. (Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica)