Structural Biochemistry/Periodic trends

Periodic trends are specific patterns that are present in the periodic table, which illustrate different aspects of a certain element, including its size and its properties with electrons. When comparing the properties of the chemical elements, recurring ('periodic') trends are apparent. This led to the creation of the periodic table as a useful way to display the elements and rationalize their behavior. When laid out in tabular form, many trends in properties can be observed to increase or decrease as one progresses along a row or column.

These period trends can be explained by theories of atomic structure. The elements are laid out in order of increasing atomic number, which represents increasing positive charge in the atomic nucleus. Negative electrons are arranged in orbitals around the nucleus; recurring properties are due to recurring configurations of these electrons.

The main periodic trends include: electronegativity, ionization energy, electron affinity, atomic radius, melting point, and metallic character. The periodic trends that arise from the arrangement of the periodic table provide chemists with an invaluable tool to quickly predict an element's properties. These trends exist because of the similar atomic structure of the elements within their respective group families or period and the periodic nature of the elements.