Brown's GCSE/IGCSE Chemistry Questions
Worksheet questions on the
history of the Periodic Table
Worksheet on the History of the Periodic Table - Practice exam questions on the Historical Development of the Periodic Table
Answers to these Questions
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GCSE/IGCSE Chemistry Periodic Table Notes
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Question 1 based on the early
classification of Antoine Lavoisier of 1789
Lavoisier's 1789 classification of substances into four 'element' groups
lead, silver, zinc
- (a) Define what we mean by (i) an
element, (ii) a compound.
- (b) Name
two 'substances' in the list which are NOT an element, compound or mixture.
- (c) Is Lavoisier correct to refer to charcoal as
- (d) Why are sulphur, phosphorus and
charcoal described as 'acid-making' elements?
- (e) Are all the metallic 'elements'
he listed really elements?
- (f) Did he genuinely distinguish
between metallic and non-metallic elements?
- (g) Which substances in his list, from
your own modern
knowledge, are definitely compounds?
- (h) Why do you think he thought your
answers to (g) were elements?
Question 2 based on the
1829 work of Johann Döbereiner
Döbereiner noted that certain elements seemed to occur as 'triads'
of similar elements eg
lithium, sodium and potassium
calcium, strontium and barium
chlorine, bromine and iodine
(a) Although the lists
are incomplete, what do we now call these 'collections' of similar elements
in a modern periodic table? (his triads where the forerunner of this 'idea')
(b) What are the modern
names for these three 'collections'?
Question 3 based on the work
of John Newlands 1864
(every 7 elements, the 8th
seemed to be very similar to the 1st of the previous 7)
Octaves (his 'Periodic Table' of 1864)
- Note: Di in column 6 was a mixture of
elements, Ro is now Rh rhodium.
- (a) In which ways is Newlands 'Periodic
Table' superior to Lavoisier's classification of the elements?
- (b) Why is Newlands classification
superior to Johann Döbereiner's work?
- (c) Can you spot any 'Groups' of elements
which you find on a modern Periodic Table? and are they classified in their own
right an not mixed up with elements from other 'modern' groups or series?
- (d) From your own knowledge, can you spot
'groups' of elements which seem very out of place compared to a modern Periodic Table?
- (e) Can you spot a metallic and
non-metallic element correctly placed in the same vertical column group?
- (f) Newlands contributed to two
important ideas about the structure of the modern periodic table, what are
they? (take a 'broad' view and think of Johann Döbereiner's work too).
Question 4 based on Dmitri
Table of 1869
(It was published simultaneously
in 1869 with the work of Lothar Meyer who looked at the physical
properties of all known elements. He noted 'periodic' trend patterns eg peaks
and troughs when melting or boiling points and specific heat values were plotted
against 'atomic weight' - what we now call relative atomic mass)
- (a) In what order did
Mendeleev originally set out the elements?
- (b) Which group of
elements is missing? can you suggest reasons for their absence?
- (c) Which element would
be above Y (yttrium) in Group III, below aluminium in Group III? and which element would
be below silicon in group IV?
- (d) Mendeleev predicted
the existence of the elements for the answers to (c) and predicted their
properties and for some of their compounds eg their formula and physical and
- (i) How could you do
this in principle?
- (ii) What type of
elements might they be?
- (iii) Can you predict
the formula of their oxide and chloride?
- (e) State as many
features as you can spot, in which Mendeleev's Periodic Table is superior to
Question 5 based on a
typical modern version of
the Periodic Table
Note: not all elements are shown (58-71 and
91-103 are not shown)
- (a) In which order are the
elements set out in the modern periodic table?
- (b) The pairs of elements: (i) tellurium
(Te, atomic mass 127.6) and iodine (I, atomic mass 126.9), AND (ii) argon (atomic mass
39.95) and potassium (atomic mass 39.10), do not follow the 'historic rule' quoted
in Q4(a). Explain why not?
- (c) It was in 1914 that a scientist
called Moseley put tellurium and iodine in their correct 'periodic order', so
what piece of information did he know that Mendeleev didn't?
- (d) State as many
features as you can think of, in which the Periodic Table is superior to Mendeleev's
- (e) Where have elements
104-109 come from?
- (f) The scientist called Glenn Seaborg is
rarely known by any school student, at least compared to Mendeleev. Find out
what areas of science he worked in and is it science of the future?
Answers to all these Questions
LINKS TO OTHER QUIZZES and WORKSHEETS on the
quiz on the basics of the Periodic Table
quiz on the basics of the Periodic Table
Basic Periodic Table Task
sheet worksheet * (answers)
gap-fill worksheet on the Periodic Table
20) Quiz on the Names and Symbols of Elements
Giant Periodic Table crossword puzzle
Matching pair quiz on Atomic and electronic structure and the
Table structure question (up to UK higher level) * (answers)
Giant Periodic Table crossword puzzle (originally written for Edexcel GCSE 360 Science, Chemistry C1a, Topic 5 Patterns in Properties,
but can be used with other GCSE/IGCSE/KS4 AQA or OCR GCSE science-CHEMISTRY courses)
Periodic Table word-fill worksheet - bumper version!