On the periodic table, sulfur belongs to group 16, which is the chalcogen group or the oxygen family. This family contains oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium and polonium. All elements in this family have similar characteristics; each element contains six electrons in its outermost shell.
Sulfur is the second element in this group, and it is a yellowish solid substance at room temperature. In nature, sulfur is found in many forms, including compounds, minerals and sulfates. There also are allotropic forms of sulfur, such as amorphous sulfur. A main application of sulfur is in the production of sulfuric acid.
Of the other elements in group 16, oxygen is a gas, selenium can be an amorphous solid, tellurium is a metalloid and polonium is a radioactive metal.