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Elements and Periodic Table
Hydrogen Helium Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon Sodium Magnesium Aluminum Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton

Periodic Table and the Elements

Periodic Table of Elements

Now we're getting to the heart and soul of the way your universe works. Elements are the building blocks for all matter. We talked about quarks in the atoms section. They are smaller than the main components of an element such as electrons, protons, and neutrons. Atoms only have recognizable traits after all of the pieces start coming together. Some subatomic particles will combine to make an oxygen (O) atom. Others can combine to form a nitrogen (N) atom. The atoms for each element are different and unique, even though they are all made of the same smaller (subatomic) parts.

We sometimes use the terms atom and element to mean the same thing. Remember that atom is the general term. Everything is made of atoms. The term element is used to describe atoms with specific characteristics. There are almost 120 known elements. For example, you are made up of billions and billions of atoms but you probably won't find more than 40 elements (types of atoms) in your body. Chemists have figured out that over 95% of your body is made up of hydrogen (H), carbon (C), nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus (P), and calcium (Ca).

The Same Everywhere

Iron atoms on the Earth and Mars are the same.

As far as we know, there are only so many basic elements. Up to this point in time, we have discovered or created about 120. Scientists just confirmed the creation of element 117 in 2014. While there may be more out there to discover, the basic elements remain the same. Iron (Fe) atoms found on Earth are identical to iron atoms found on meteorites. The iron atoms on Mars that make the soil red are the same too.

With the tools you learn here, you can explore and understand the Universe. You will never stop discovering new reactions and compounds, but the elements will be the same.

Next Stop On Chem4Kids Tour
Next Page on Elements
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> Overview
- Periodic Table
- Element List
- Families
- Halogens
- Noble Gases
- Metals
- Alkali Metals
- Alkaline Earth
- Transition Metals
- Lanthanide
- Actinide


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Chemistry Quiz

Elements Quiz

The List of Elements

We've got eighteen elements to choose from. Since the launch of the site, we've been asked, "Why start with 18?" We only have eighteen, because the rules for the first eighteen elements are very straightforward:
(1) Electrons fit nicely into three shells. Remember that the shells are the places you will find the electrons as they spin around the nucleus.
(2) These elements make up most of the matter in the Universe.
(3) It's a lot easier to remember facts about 18 elements than over 100 elements.
Element 1: Hydrogen
Element 2: Helium
Element 3: Lithium
Element 4: Beryllium
Element 5: Boron
Element 6: Carbon
Element 7: Nitrogen
Element 8: Oxygen
Element 9: Fluorine
Element 10: Neon
Element 11: Sodium
Element 12: Magnesium
Element 13: Aluminum
Element 14: Silicon
Element 15: Phosphorus
Element 16: Sulfur
Element 17: Chlorine
Element 18: Argon

Who are we kidding? We know you want information on more than eighteen elements. We've added the next 18 elements from the fourth period (row) of the periodic table. You need to remember that this is the first row with transition elements. The transition metals have electron configurations that are a little different from the first 18 elements. Make sure you understand the first 18 before you move on to this set.

Element 19: Potassium
Element 20: Calcium
Element 21: Scandium
Element 22: Titanium
Element 23: Vanadium
Element 24: Chromium
Element 25: Manganese
Element 26: Iron
Element 27: Cobalt
Element 28: Nickel
Element 29: Copper
Element 30: Zinc
Element 31: Gallium
Element 32: Germanium
Element 33: Arsenic
Element 34: Selenium
Element 35: Bromine
Element 36: Krypton

- Chem4Kids: Periodic Table
- Biology4Kids: Scientific Method
- Geography4Kids: Element Cycles
- Geography4Kids: Biosphere
- Physics4Kids: Radioactivity
- Cosmos4Kids: Star Formation
- Cosmos4Kids: The Universe
- Cosmos4Kids: Earth

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