Periodic Table of Element Discovery Dates

Have you ever wondered when, exactly, each of the chemical elements was discovered or first synthesized? These periodic table wallpapers contain the dates of discovery of each element.


Each element is identified by their atomic number, symbol, name and discovery date. The colors correspond to the different eras of chemistry.

Color Codes for Element Discovery

  • Red – Known to ancient man. These elements typically appear native in nature and were easily discovered by alchemists.
  • Orange – 1600-1799. These elements were discovered during the transition from alchemy to the science of chemistry.
  • Yellow – 1800-1849. These elements were discovered during the industrial revolution and the rapid rise of chemistry.
  • Green – 1850-1899. These elements were mostly discovered through the new technique of spectroscopy.
  • Blue – 1901-1949. Elements in this period were discovered during the rise of quantum mechanics.
  • Dark Blue – 1950-1999. These elements were discovered during the nuclear age and nuclear accelerators.
  • Violet – 2000 to Present. These elements are the elements of the 21st Century. A few of these have claims of discovery, but have not been confirmed.

These dates correspond to the date of initial discovery. Many elements were not confirmed or isolated for many years after their discovery.

This periodic table discovery dates is also available with a darker background for those that prefer a darker, high-contrast background.

Discovery Periodic Table Black Background

Each wallpaper is 1920×1080 in dimensions and suitable for any widescreen device. Click the image to view the full-sized periodic table.