Is it possible to place some elements within the periodic table with just a single clue?

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jerichorayel's profile pic

jerichorayel | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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You can do so depending on the single clue that was given. Periodic table was arranged according to increasing atomic number, grouped according to physical and chemical properties. If the atomic number for a particular unknown element is given, it would be easier to determine and place it in the periodic table. For example, if the atomic number is 20, it is easy to know that it is Calcium. If in case the element is known and you are not sure where to place it, but the electronic configuration is given, it can also be determined. For example, the given valence electronic configuration is 3s2 3p5. The unknown element is located in the third row and in the p group. You know it is located in the p group because the last electron is in the p orbital. 

However some clues like the groups, element families may need additional information in order to locate a particular element in the periodic table. 

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atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Yes, but it depends on the type of information/clue you were given.

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mrsfaubion | eNotes Newbie

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Yes.  The atomic number is equal to the number of protons.  It is also equal to the number of electrons.  Atomic numbers are placed on the periodic table in order.  Therefore, if you know the number of protons or electrons, you place it in the box with the matching atomic number.

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laurto | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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You can find an element just using the information given on the periodic table. An element can be found with just

  • atomic mass
  • atomic number
  • symbol
  • its period and group

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