MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The periodic table. The periodic table shows the known elements arranged in order of their atomic numbers (the number of protons in the atomic nu- cleus). Elements with similar chemistry occur in the same vertical column. Different groups of ele- ments are colour coded: alkaline metals (dark blue); transition metals (magenta); semi-metals & non-metals (green); noble gases (red); lanthanide series (yellow); actinide series (orange). Hydro- gen (pale blue) stands alone. Periodic tables help scientists to predict how an element will behave chemically, and how the atoms of different elem- ents combine together in molecules.
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