1-3-1 the Periodic Table

Note: this page is still in progress; some parts are incomplete

I will provide examples and more detailed instructions within the next week.

Download charts #3 #4 and #5 here:

memorizing periodic table 




Memorizing the Periodic Table

This page will teach you how to memorize the periodic table: the locations of elements (groups and periods), the elements’ symbols, their atomic numbers, and their atomic mass. I base my method on the Memory Graph chapter from Super Memory Super Student by Harry Lorayne; what you will find here and not in the book are:

-Better mnemonics

-A different, initials approach (inspired by the Dominic System) to memorizing Element symbols

-How to memorize atomic numbers

-How to memorize the groups

-How to memorize ATOMIC WEIGHTS! (Using the Major System)


Let’s get started


First, familiarize yourself with the peg words. Each box has a unique set of coordinates: (letter, number). Using the Major System, we are to translate the numbers into their phonetic associations. We will generate a “peg word” for each box by combining the letter and the phonetic association of the number, and/or by plugging arbitrary, unassociated sounds/letters in between.


To memorize elements’ positions on the periodic table, you just have to combine the peg word with other mnemonic devices.

If you scroll down you will find a table that has the mnemonics of elements in each box. Notice for boxes that have two elements, the mnemonics are ordered.

Letters’ correspondence with row #










Elements’ column position: elements whose mnemonics comes first: 2x[number part of peg] -1   ; elements whose mnemonics come second: 2x[number part of peg]

If you just want to memorize positions and names, use chart #1 and #3

If you want to memorize the elements’ atomic numbers as well, refer to chart 4 and generate your phonetic associations according to the Major System. (you could use http://pinfruit.com)

If you want to memorize the elements’ atomic masses as well, refer to chart 4 and generate your phonetic associations. **order matters; when you get to the heavier elements you will notice that atomic mass does not strictly increase; for instance, 106Sg and 107Bh are in the same box; yet Bh weights 262 and Sg weighs 263. This means if you were to rely on the fact that larger atomic number usually corresponds with heavier atomic weight, you would erroneously link 262 amu to Sg.

Notice that for sake of simplicity, all weights have 3 significant figures. The way I memorize is that I combine all the numbers:

Atomic number – atomic weight

In other words, I generate a phonetically associated phrase (based on the major system) that translates the entire string of numbers. I then combine the image this phrase gives me with whatever mnemonics I use to memorize the corresponding element.



  1(t,d) 2(n) 3(m) 4(r) 5(l) 6(sh) 7(k,g) 8(f,v) 9(p,b)
A AiD ANt AMsterdam AiR balloons AL-Qaeda ASH AK-47 AVocado APe
B BaT BuNNY BooM (explosion) BeRtman

(meme reference)

BowLing ball BuSH BaG BeeF BaBy
C CaT CaN CuM CaR CaLifornia CaSH CoKe CaVe CaB
D DaD DaN (person) DaM DeaR DoLl DouCHe DoG DoVe DoPe
E Eddy ENter Emperor ERR Eel EdGe Egg Eve EBony
F FaT FuN FoaM FuR FoiL FiSH FuCk FiFe FaP
G GoD GuN GungaM GiRl GLee GoSH GaG GoVernment GoP
H HaM HoNey HoMe HaRe HaiL HaSH HaG HiVe HoP
I ID INK IM (swimmer) ? ILLicit ? ? IVy ?


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A H               He
B Li/Be           B/C N/O F/Ne
C Na/Mg           Al/Si P/S Cl/Ar
D K/Ca Sc/Ti V/Cr Mn/Fe Co/Ni Cu/Zn Ga/Ge As/Se Br/Kr
E Rb/Sr Y/Zr Nb/Mo Tc/Ru Rh/Pd Ag/Cd In/Sn Sb/Te I/Xe
F Cs/Ba La/Hf Ta/W Re/Os Ir/Pt Au/Hg Tl/Pb Bi/Po At/Rn
G Fr/Ra Ac Rf/Db Sg/Bh Hs/Mt Ds/Rg      
H     Ce/Pr Nd/Pm Sm/Eu Gd/Tb Dy/Ho Er/Tm Yb/Lu
I     Th/Pa U/Np Pu/Am Cm/Bk Cf/Es Fm/Md No/Lr






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