Why are properties such as colour, state, and taste not used to arrange elements on the first periodic table?

1 Answer
Jan 3, 2017

Because these properties do not differentiate elements in a systematic way.


#"Colour:"# some elements are colourless gases; dioxygen gas is colourless, and is one of the most reactive elements on the Periodic Table; the Noble Gases, also colourless, are the least reactive.

#"State:"# most elements are solids at normal temperatures and pressures; a few are gases; and there are only 2-3 liquids.

#"Taste:"# many elements are tasteless; and some (bromine, for instance) you would not want to taste.

In short these properties do not differentiate the elements in any meaningful way. The Table organizes elements on the basis of #Z#, #"atomic number"#, and division into Periods and Groups does categorize elemental properties.