in the periodic table
of the elements, each numbered row is a period.
a period in the periodic table is a row of chemical elements. all elements in a row have the same number of electron shells. each next element in a period has one more proton and is less metallic than its predecessor. arranged this way, groups of elements in the same column have similar chemical and physical properties, reflecting the periodic law. for example, the halogens lie in the second-last column (group 17) and share similar properties, such as high reactivity and the tendency to gain one electron to arrive at a noble-gas electronic configuration as of 2016, a total of 118 elements have been discovered and confirmed.
the madelung energy ordering rule
describes the order in which orbitals are arranged by increasing energy according to the madelung rule. each diagonal corresponds to a different value of n + l.
modern quantum mechanics explains these periodic trends in properties in terms of electron shells. as atomic number increases, shells fill with electrons in approximately the order shown at right. the filling of each shell corresponds to a row in the table.
in the s-block and p-block of the periodic table, elements within the same period generally do not exhibit trends and similarities in properties (vertical trends down groups are more significant). however, in the d-block, trends across periods become significant, and in the f-block elements show a high degree of similarity across periods.