The periodic table maps out all of the discovered elements. These elements are arranged into seven different groups, each group differing from another in reactivity, properties, and the state in which they are found in nature. These groups are named the Noble Gases, Halogens, Metalloids, Transition Metals, Inner Transition Metals, Alkali Earth Metals, and Alkali Metals.
The Noble gases include five elements: helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon. Each of these elements is most commonly found in a gaseous state. Since these elements have a filled octet of electrons, they are not very reactive. Due to their nonreactive property, they are used in areas where much welding takes place, to not cause any possibly dangerous reactions with the by-products of welding. Noble gases also have low boiling points in their liquid forms and are used as cryogens. A well-known use of helium is to fill up balloons. Helium is used more often, rather than hydrogen, because helium is less reactive.
The next group of elements are the Halogens. This group contains five elements: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, astatine, and iodine. Every halogen is rather reactive, especially in comparison to the noble gases. It is difficult to create an overarching statement relating to the properties of halogens due to several exceptions. First of all the halogens appear in nature combined with other elements due to their high reactivity. Another reason it is difficult to make a generalizing statement is that fluorine and chlorine are gases at room temperature while bromine is a blood-colored liquid, which easily vaporizes. Iodine forms shiny dark crystals and can change directly into a gas through a process called subliming. Chlorine in its gas formed was used as a poison in the World Wars and in modern times is used as a disinfectant of public water and minor cuts and/or scrapes.
The metalloid group consists of seven elements: Boron, Silicon, Arsenic, Selenium, Antimony, Tellurium and Polonium. On the periodic table, they are arranged in a stair-step like line. These elements display properties of both the metal and nonmetal elements. The metal properties are lust, are able to conduct heat and electricity well, have a high density and a high melting point, are malleable and are ductile and the nonmetals exhibit the exact opposite properties. Metalloids are solids that can be either shiny or dull (lust), are ductile, are malleable, and can conduct heat and electricity better than nonmetals but not as well as metals. Reactivity among the metalloids differs depending on the element with which they are reacting. Boiling points, melting points, and densities also vary widely with metalloids.
The transition metals also possess properties of metals. The elements that fall under the transition metals group are very dense, have high melting points, have high boiling points, are very malleable, and function as great conductors. The transition metals, also called the transition elements, are fairly nonreactive, but serve as good catalysts.
The inner transition metals group contains twenty-eight elements. The elements included in the transition metals group range from atomic numbers fifty-eight through seventy-one and atomic numbers ninety through one-hundred-three. Unlike any elements from any of the other groups, many of the inner transition metals do not occur naturally, but are created through nuclear reactions.
The alkali earth metals include beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium, and radium. Radium is a radioactive element. Properties of the alkali earth metals include ductility and are silver-gray in color. They have low densities, but are still harder than the alkali metals. Alkali earth metals react with many nonmetallic elements.
The last group is the alkali metals. The alkali metals group consists of the five elements, lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, and cesium. All of the alkali metals are soft and all are silvery-gray with the exception of cesium. At zero degrees Celsius, the alkali metals are solids and melt at two-hundred degrees Celsius. They are good conductors of heat and electricity, are malleable and are ductile. They are used to coolants in automobile engines and nuclear reactors. The alkali metals, especially lithium, aggressively react with water. They also react directly with multiple other elements.
Textbook, GenChem. (2009, November 17). Group IVA. Retrieved from http://chemed.chem.wisc.edu/chempaths/GenChem-Textbook/Group-IVA-607.html