Question

How did atomic number prove to be a better basis for the classification of elements?

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Answer

Solution:

  1. Rectification of Inversion in Mendeleev's Periodic Table: Mendeleev's original table sometimes positioned elements with higher atomic masses before those with lower atomic masses due to its organization primarily by atomic mass and chemical properties. By adopting atomic number as the basis for classification, this anomaly was corrected because elements with higher atomic masses but lower atomic numbers were realigned according to their atomic numbers.

  2. Accurate Positioning of Isotopes: Isotopes are variants of the same element that have different atomic masses but the same atomic number. Therefore, when the atomic number is used as the classification criterion, all isotopes of an element occupy the same position in the periodic table. This resolves discrepancies that occurred when only atomic masses were considered.


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