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Periodic Table - How can you know anything about an Element beforehand ?

Hello dear Chemists,

The other Day in University we learned about Atoms and how every other Element in our World has its own specific Properties to it. A question arose that Day within me, that has troubled me ever since. Especially because it seems to be such an 'easy' Question. Here´s the Question:

While we now have almost a complete Perodic Table, it used to be much more 'hollow' having Holes, where specific Elements should have been, but had not yet been found. My question would be:

How does one know beforehand what specific type of Element should fit or be in the Hole ? How does a specific allignment of Atoms determine how the Element behaves ? Weither it is a liquid or solid, weither it is conductive, poisounous or not. If there is a way to determine how a Molecule should behave, how do modern Chemists determine anything, before even discovering the Element itself ?


I would be most pleased if one of you could send me an answer regarding this Question, if possible, since I now have to go to bed every Night asking myself how it is done while not being able to sleep well.


Kind regards and an nice Day / Night,


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