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Introduction to Elements

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Elements are a very important part of Chemistry. Today, I will be covering the basics of Elements, which include their definition, types, characteristics, symbols and the list of all elements as of 2021. I will also be providing a PDF for extra guidance in the end.

Elements are substances that cannot be divided further into simpler substances by any physical or chemical means.

We can say that they are the smallest substances that form everything around us. They can be solid, liquid or gaseous in form.

There are three types of Elements. Metals, Non metals and Noble or Inert Gases. They can be Non metals if they are soft solids, liquids or gases at room temperature, if they have no lustre, if it is non malleable or non ductile, if it is a bad conductor of electricity and heat, or if it's boiling and freezing points are low. If none of these apply, they can be Noble gases or Metals. Noble gases are gases which do not react chemically when in contact with any other gas. They are usually found in very small quantity in the air. (We will discuss in detail about noble gases later.)

Some Metals :

Iron, Manganese, Nickel, Mercury, Gold, Silver, Lead, etc.

Some Non Metals :

Chlorine, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Bromine, Carbon, Iodine, etc.

Some Noble Gases :

Helium, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Radon, Neon

How to write elements using symbols?

This is a pretty easy concept. If you know the periodic table of elements memorized, this may come off as a piece of cake. Usually, the elements are named according to their spelling. For example, the first letter of Hydrogen is 'H', and therefore, it's symbol is 'H'. Similarly, the symbol for Nitrogen is 'N', and so on.

Sometimes, there can be problems. For example, both Hydrogen and Helium begin with 'H'. Both of them cannot have the same symbol. In cases such as these, we use the first and second, or first and third letter of the element. So, Helium is written as 'He'. Similarly, Nitrogen and Neon have the same starting letter, so Neon is 'Ne'.

There are some exceptions. Sometimes, the element can be written using the first, second or third letter of the name of the element in a different language. For example, Sodium is known as Natrium in Latin, and therefore it's symbol is 'Na'.

This is very easy to memorize. A list of all the elements with their symbols will be linked below.

Elements - Slideshow : Slideshow for better understanding

Thank you so much for reading! Hope you understood your elements!

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