Pe`ri*od"ic (?), Pe`ri*od"ic*al (?), a. [L. periodicus, Gr. : cf. F. p'eriodique.]

1.

Of or pertaining to a period or periods, or to division by periods.

The periodical times of all the satellites.
Sir J. Herschel.

2.

Performed in a period, or regular revolution; proceeding in a series of successive circuits; as, the periodical motion of the planets round the sun.

3.

Happening, by revolution, at a stated time; returning regularly, after a certain period of time; acting, happening, or appearing, at fixed intervals; recurring; as, periodical epidemics.

The periodic return of a plant's flowering.
Henslow.

To influence opinion through the periodical press.
Courthope.

4. Rhet.

Of or pertaining to a period; constituting a complete sentence.

Periodic comet Astron., a comet that moves about the sun in an elliptic orbit; a comet that has been seen at two of its approaches to the sun. -- Periodic function Math., a function whose values recur at fixed intervals as the variable uniformly increases. The trigonomertic functions, as sin x, tan x, etc., are periodic functions. Exponential functions are also periodic, having an imaginary period, and the elliptic functions have not only a real but an imaginary period, and are hence called doubly periodic. -- Periodic law Chem., the generalization that the properties of the chemical elements are periodic functions of their atomic wieghts. "In other words, if the elements are grouped in the order of their atomic weights, it will be found that nearly the same properties recur periodically throughout the entire series."

The following tabular arrangement of the atomic weights shows the regular recurrence of groups (under I., II., III., IV., etc.), each consisting of members of the same natural family. The gaps in the table indicate the probable existence of unknown elements.

Editor's note: A text version of part of the Periodic Table of the Elements followed here, but since E2 doesn't support the TABLE tag, it was a mess. See Periodic Table of the Elements instead.

A similar relation had been enunciated in a crude way by Newlands; but the law in its effective form was developed and elaborated by Mendelejeff, whence it is sometimes called Mendelejeff's law. Important extensions of it were also made by L. Meyer. By this means Mendelejeff predicted with remarkable accuracy the hypothetical elements ekaboron, ekaluminium, and ekasilicon, afterwards discovered and named respectively scandium, gallium, and germanium.

-- Periodic star Astron., a variable star whose changes of brightness recur at fixed periods. -- Periodic time of a heavenly body Astron., the time of a complete revolution of the body about the sun, or of a satellite about its primary.

Pe`ri*od"ic*al, n.

A magazine or other publication which appears at stated or regular intervals.