• I'll cite Wikipedia for this. Family is the vertical column of the chart so the elements are arranged by the valence shell. For example, all the halogens have a valence of 7, meaning a formal charge of -1. Since the essence of chemical reactions have to do with the transfer of electrons, you can imagine that the elements in the family have similar physical properties. Period is the reoccurring rows horizontally. They go by order of increasing atomic number and generally speaking, atomic weight. Also electronegativity increases as you go from left to right but also decreases as you go down the family.

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