Author Archives: Todd Helmenstine

About Todd Helmenstine

Todd Helmenstine is the physicist/mathematician who creates most of the images and PDF files found on Nearly all of the graphics are created in Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks and Photoshop. Todd also writes many of the example problems and general news articles found on the site.

Extended Periodic Table

This version of the periodic table is an example of the extended periodic table.

Extended Periodic TableThe usual periodic table shows the lanthanides and actinides below the rest of the table and the two spots below scandium and yttrium are marked with placeholders. In the extended table, these two groups are placed to show where they would appear in periods 6 and 7. This format also plainly shows where the s, p, d, and f electron orbital blocks occur.

Each element square contains the element’s number, symbol, name, and atomic mass. The colors represent the different element groups.

The extended periodic table is obviously a lot wider than the usual periodic table. This image is 3000 pixels wide and 1500 pixels tall. As a wallpaper, if you choose to “stretch” the image, the individual element tiles will be taller, but the results are still readable on 4K and HD monitors.

We’ve partnered with Redbubble to offer this extended periodic table in a variety of sizes. They range from Small (12″ x 3.6″) to Extra Large (30″ x 9″). Check it out!

Printable Color Periodic Table – 2017

This printable color periodic table contains all 118 of the IUPAC approved elements for 2017.

Printable Color Periodic Table – 2017

Printable Color Periodic Table - 2017Each element tile is lightly colored to identify the element’s group. The key beneath the table shows which color corresponds to which element group. From top to bottom, each tile contains the element’s number, symbol, name, and atomic mass.

This table is optimized to fit on a single sheet of 812” x 11″ sheet of paper. Download the PDF for best results. Just remember to choose “Landscape” for your print options.  Choose “Fit to Page” to print to A4 paper.

Printable Black and White Periodic Table

Printable Periodic Table Of The Elements 2017 - Black and White

Printable periodic table of the elements – 2017 edition.

For those without access to color printing, the same table, minus the key, is available in black. The white areas are left clear to print on any color paper you choose. As with the color table, the PDF of this table will produce the best results.

Be sure to check out our other printable periodic tables.

Periodic Table 2017 Edition – Black and White

This is the black and white periodic table 2017 edition.

Periodic Table 2017 - Black and WhiteIt contains 118 named elements with each element’s atomic number, symbol, name and atomic mass. This includes the recently approved names of elements 113, 115, 117, and 118. The image is 1920×1080, making it suitable for widescreen monitors and most phones. Click the image to get the full-sized version. To print this table, download the PDF version and set your options to “Fit to Page” for your type of paper. It is easily readable on a standard sheet of size A4 or 8.5×11″ paper. Each tile has plenty of white space to write any extra information you’d like to add without blocking anything else.

Periodic Table Wallpaper With 118 Circular Element Tiles

This is an updated version of the popular Circle Tile Periodic Table wallpaper to include the new names and symbols of elements 113, 115, 117 and 118.

Circle Periodic Table With 118 Elements

Each circular element tile contains the number, symbol, name, and atomic mass of each element. A large gray tile below the title shows where to find the different bits of data. The different colored circles correspond to the different element groups.

This wallpaper is optimized to fit on HD screens and devices with a resolution of 1920×1080. If you’d like to print this table, just download the PDF and set your printing options to ‘Fit’. 

If you find this periodic table to be too bright for your desktop, just use this version with a black background.

Circle Periodic Table With 118 Elements and Black BackgroundThis table is available at our Redbubble store on various items such as posters, coffee cups, t-shirts and even pillows. I like the way the stickers look and you can place them on just about anything.

If you like this table, check out our other periodic table wallpapers.

Periodic Table Wallpaper With All 118 Elements

This periodic table wallpaper contains all 118 elements.

Periodic Table Works With 118 ElementsEach tile contains each element’s atomic number, atomic mass, symbol, name, electron shell configuration, and electronic configuration. The symbol color represents the state of the element at room temperature. The different colored tiles correspond to the different element groups.

This table is optimized to fit on any HD screen as a wallpaper. A PDF of the table is available for printing. The table is quite readable if the “Fit” option is chosen when printing.

If a darker table is preferred, here is the same table with a black background.

Periodic Table Works With 118 Elements - Black Background

For fun, I’ve added a version with a more stylized green background. Enjoy!

Periodic Table Works With 118 Elements Wallpaper

Biology Word Search – Science Word Searches

Biology Word Search is a word search puzzle using glossary terms associated with middle school biology courses. These biology topics include words dealing with living systems, genetics, the cell, and the environment.

Biology Word SearchThe words can be found running left/right, up/down and diagonally within the array of letters. Word searches can be a fun way to introduce many of the terms a student will encounter in their first class involving the life science of biology.

Click the image to view a full-sized version of the puzzle optimized to fit on a single sheet of paper. For better printing quality, downloading the PDF of the biology word search is best alternative.

If you have trouble finding a particular term, feel free to take a peek at the completed solved word search (or you could download the PDF of the solution).

Biology Word Search Terms

This is a list of the words appearing in the Biology Word Search and quick definitions of each term.

aerobic – process that occurs when oxygen is present
anaphase – Stage of cell division when the chromosomes separate to each side of a cell
bacteria – kingdom of single cell living things with no cell membrane or nucleus
biology – study of life
biome – geographic region with common flora and fauna with a singular climate
cancer – disease caused by the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a body
Carbon Cycle – series of chemical processes involving the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide
cell – basic functional unit of living organisms separated from the environment by a plasma membrane
chloroplast – organelle found in plants which absorb sunlight to drive photosynthesis
chromosome – a threadlike,  gene-carrying structure found in cell nuclei
climate – weather patterns of a geographic location over a long period of time
clone – an organism genetically identical to another organism or the process of creating genetic replicas of an organism or cell
community – a collection of lifeforms living and interacting together over a geographical area
differentiation – process where offspring cells become separate from their parent cells
diversity – abundance and distribution of different animal and plant communities within a system or geographic area
embryology – branch of biology dealing with the formation and development of living organisms from previous generations
endocytosis – process where cells absorb larger particles by surrounding them with their membrane
eukaryote – an organism with cells containing a true nucleus
evolution – process by which organisms develop and diversify over time
family – classification group above genus and below order
fungi – kingdom of life consisting of eukaryotic organisms which produce their own energy
gametes – cells responsible for the reproduction of life
gene – basic discrete unit of heredity
genus – classification group below family and above species
hereditary – transmission of properties and characteristics from parents to offspring
immunity – ability of an organism to completely fight off a disease
lysosome – organelle of a cell responsible for processing food into waste within the cell
microorganism – life observable only under a microscope
mutation – a change within the DNA that increases genetic diversity
order – classification group below class and above family
organelle – part of a eukaryotic cell suspended in the cell’s cytoplasm which performs a specialized function
organism – individual living thing
phenotype – physical and physiological traits of an organism
photosynthesis – series of chemical processes where light energy is converted into chemical energy occurring in plants, algea, and some prokaryotes
phylum – classification group below kingdom and above class
prokaryote – a type of single-celled organism with no defined cell nucleus.
protein – a polymer of amino acids
survive – an organism that lives to the next generation
virus – a non-cellular mass composed of a nucleic acid and protein coat which reproduces within a host cell

Earth Science Word Search

Earth Science Word Search is a word search puzzle using glossary terms associated with the Earth Sciences. The Earth Sciences include the study of meteorology, geology, and astronomy.


Earth Science Word SearchThe words can be found running left/right, up/down and diagonally within the array of letters. This activity can be a fun way to introduce many of the terms a student will encounter in an Earth Science class. Clicking the image will show a full-sized version of the puzzle optimized to fit on a single sheet of paper. Alternatively, a PDF version can be downloaded for better quality and easier printing.

If you have trouble finding a few of the words, feel free to take a peek at the solved word search (or you could download the solved PDF).

Earth Science Word Search Glossary Terms

alluvium – deposits formed by rivers and streams
anemometer – instrument used to measure wind speed
apogee – point of an orbit where the orbiting body is furthest from the focal point
biome – a large community of flora and fauna occupying a region or habitat
climate – long-term weather conditions for an area
colloid – homogeneous mixture consisting of very small particles dispersed in a secondary medium.
condensation – phase change from gas to liquid
crystal – a solid with a definate and ordered arrangement of atoms
cyclone – a type of weather where winds rotate around a low pressure center
delta – sediment deposits at the mouth of a stream or river
deposition – process where sediments are placed on a surface layer
desert – a biome consisting of arid climate and little precipitation
dewpoint – temperature where air is saturated with water vapor
diurnal – daily
earthquake – sudden violent shaking of the Earth’s crust
eccentricity – measure of an orbit’s deviation from a perfect circle
epicenter – surface point directly above the origin of an earthquake
epoch – a large subdivision of time marked by notable events
equator – imaginary parallel line drawn around a sphere equally distant from the top and bottom poles. On Earth, the line that divides the North and South Hemispheres.
equinox – time when the Sun’s light strikes perpendicular to the Earth’s equator
erosion – removal of sediment by an external force such as wind, water, gravity or ice
evaporation – phase change from liquid to gas
fault – a crack in the Earth’s crust
fossil – petrified organic remains encased in rock or the impression of organic remains in rocks
front – boundary between two different air masses
galaxy – ordered grouping of a large number of stars
glacier – a slow moving mass of ice formed from the accumulation of ice and snow
hurricane – a cyclone storm with wind speeds in excess of 74 mph or 114 kph
igneous – rocks formed from the solidification of molten matter
isobar – a line connecting equal readings of pressure
isotherm – a line connecting equal readings of temperature
jet stream – a concentration of high winds found in the troposphere
lava – molten material deposited on the surface of the Earth
light year – the distance light travels in one year (9.46 x 1012 km)
magma – molten material beneath the Earth’s surface
metamorphic – a type of rock where one type of rock is changed into another type by heat and/or pressure
moho – boundary between the Earth’s crust and mantle
monsoon – seasonal prevailing winds located in Southeast Asia
ocean – a very large body of water dividing geographic regions
orbit – path drawn out by a satellite traveling around another body
perigee – point of an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the focal point
planet – largest bodies orbiting a star
precipitation – rainfall or the process where a substance settles out of a solution
sediment – matter removed from eroded material
seismograph – instrument  used to detect and/or measure the strength of earthquakes
solstice – time where the Sun’s rays are perpendicular to the Earth’s surface and furthest North or South. 
subduction – process where one tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate
tornado – a localized vortex of rotating winds
tsunami – a large wave formed from the sudden movement caused by an earthquake, landslide or any other underwater disturbance
waning – description of the phases of the moon as the bright visible part passes from full moon to new moon
waxing – description of the phases of the moon as the bright visible part passes from new moon to full moon