What are Elements?

All material things on earth are made up of one or more elements. Elements are substances that have atoms of only one kind. Any one element may have some of the same properties that other elements have, but no two elements are exactly alike. For examples, hydrogen and helium are both colorless, odorless, and tasteless gases.

They are both light, but helium is heavier. Hydrogen burns, but helium will not. All elements have a certain weight. They can be a solid, a liquid, or a gas. Some will dissolve in water. Others must be heated to a certain temperature before they will change from a solid to a liquid or to a gas.

These characteristics are called "the physical properties" of elements. After scientist studied the physical and chemical properties of elements, they grouped the elements that were alike together. These elements are called "chemical families".


All the families were combined into "the periodic table or elements" they were listed in order of  their "atomic number". The atomic number of an elements defends on how many protons, particles with a positive charge, the atom of each to elements contains. A hydrogen atoms has one proton and its atomic number is one so it is first on the periodic table.

Some elements are named  after people or places or countries: einsteinium, europium, germanium, californium, and scandium. Among the familiar elements are carbon, copper, gold, iron, lead, mercury, nickel platinum, tin, radium and silver.

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