Some element groups are easily identified as columns on the periodic table, but as you move across the table, the trends aren't so clear-cut. The number on the very top is called the atomic number and it represents the number of protons in a single atom of the element. A group is a vertical row on the periodic chart such as group 1, the alkali metals, group 2, the alkali earth metals, and the last group, group 18, the rare gases or noble gases. The periodic table is an arrangement of the elements in order of their atomic numbers so that elements with similar properties appear in the same vertical column or group. The newer method uses the numbers 1 through 18. Most of the elements' abbreviations are derived from Greek and Latin, or other ancient origins. Within these blocks are identifying numbers and letters. Each square shows the chemical symbol of the element along with its name. Each element within the periodic table has its own block. For example, the Latin word for Gold is aurum; so the Periodic Table symbol Au comes from the first two letters of its Latin name.The symbol Hg represents Mercury on the table and comes from the Latin word hydragyrum, which translates from Latin as "liquid silver." Many chemists prefer and still use this method. At the very least, the atomic number and atomic weight of each element will be displayed on a periodic table. The periodic table is arranged in order of increasing atomic number (left to right, top to bottom). A typical periodic table is colored according to element groups, which are elements that share chemical and physical properties. All of the members of a group have the same number of electrons in the outer energy level giving them similar chemical properties. The atomic number is the number of protons in the nuclei of the atoms of a given element. Members of the families (vertical columns) in the periodic table have similar properties. 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