IB Chemistry home > Syllabus 2016 > Periodicity > Physical properties of the elements

Syllabus ref: 3.2

Groups and periods show trends in physical properties that, in some cases, repeat periodically.

Nature of science:

Looking for patterns-the position of an element in the periodic table allows scientists to make accurate predictions of its physical and chemical properties. This gives scientists the ability to synthesize new substances based on the expected reactivity of elements.


Vertical and horizontal trends in the periodic table exist for atomic radius, ionic radius, ionization energy, electron affinity and electronegativity.

Trends in metallic and non-metallic behaviour are due to the trends above.

Applications and skills

Prediction and explanation of the metallic and non-metallic behaviour of an element based on its position in the periodic table.

Discussion of the similarities and differences in the properties of elements in the same group, with reference to alkali metals (group 1) and halogens (group 17).

In Chapter 5.2