An Interactive Periodic Table

Recently, my daughter was working on some science homework that required her to refer to the periodic table of elements. We didn’t have one handy, so we turned to Google. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with what we found. Most of the periodic tables were just images, giving you the basic information about each element, but nothing more. They were good enough for the homework assignment, but I thought about it through that night and decided that I could do something better.

The next day, I found a data set from the Penn State website which included all of the standard information about the elements—name, symbol, atomic number, atomic weight, and type—but it also had other interesting information such as the element’s standard state (gas, liquid, or solid) and when and by whom it was discovered. So, I took this data and created an interactive periodic table in Tableau. It looks like a standard periodic table, of course, but if you hover over an element, it will give you some additional details.

The visualization is larger than fits nicely on this blog, so you may need to scroll. But, you can also find the full visualization here. And please use it to help your kids with their science homework!!

Update, December 3, 2016: Two days after this article was posted, four of the elements received their official names. The elements in question are Ununtrium (113), Ununpentium (115), Ununseptium (117), and Ununoctium (118)--the temporary names essentially spell out the atomic number in a Latin form. For example, un-un-trium stands for one-one-three or 113. The elements were officially named Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine and Oganesson, respectively. I've updated this article and the Tableau visualization to account for these changes. For more about the newly assigned names, check out the following article from the New York Times: Four New Names Officially Added to the Periodic Table of Elements.

Update, January 8, 2017: After posting this article on Reddit, someone suggested that I create a version which links to the "Periodic Videos" YouTube series created by the Chemistry Department at the University of Nottingham. I thought it was a great idea, so I created a new version which allows you to click on an element and display the associated video. Check it out here

Ken Flerlage, November 29, 2016
Tableau Public:!/

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