The periodic table is a universal table that contains all of the elements that have been discovered. They are arranged according to their atomic number and they all have shortened symbols. The table helps scientists across the world to be able to understand equations and scientific papers that contain these element symbols. It does not require the need for multiple translations into different languages.
The metal that is used in the 15mm Copper Pipe from Watkins & Powis, for example, appears number 29 in the table with the symbol CU. The number that an element appears in the table is relative to its atomic number.
There was no one person that came up with the periodic table, but instead a number of scientists from around the world that over a century created the table that we now have today.
Antonie Lavoisier was a French chemist and in 1789 he tried to group together elements that were metals and those that were non-metals. Not long after this the German physicist Johann Wolfang Dobereiner also noticed these similarities but grouped the elements together in triads, with three elements in each one.
It was a British Chemist called John Newlands who was the first person to put the elements on the table according to their atomic masses. These were placed in ascending order starting with Hydrogen at the start. Since this time the table has been expanded to include many more elements and to arrange them into further columns and rows.