Chemistry » Classification of Matter » Pure Substances

# Elements

## Elements

An element is a chemical substance that can’t be divided or changed into other chemical substances by any ordinary chemical means. The smallest unit of an element is the atom.

### Definition: Element

An element is a substance that cannot be broken down into other substances through chemical means.

There are $$\text{112}$$ officially named elements and about $$\text{118}$$ known elements. Most of these are natural, but some are man-made. The elements we know are represented in the periodic table, where each element is abbreviated to a chemical symbol. The table below gives the first $$\text{20}$$ elements and some of the common transition metals.

### Did You Know?

Recently it was agreed that two more elements would be added to the list of officially named elements. These are elements number $$\text{114}$$ and $$\text{116}$$. The proposed name for element $$\text{114}$$ is flerovium and for element $$\text{116}$$ it is moscovium. This brings the total number of officially named elements to $$\text{114}$$.

 Element name Element symbol Element name Element symbol Hydrogen $$\text{H}$$ Phosphorus $$\text{P}$$ Helium $$\text{He}$$ Sulfur $$\text{S}$$ Lithium $$\text{Li}$$ Chlorine $$\text{Cl}$$ Beryllium $$\text{Be}$$ Argon $$\text{Ar}$$ Boron $$\text{B}$$ Potassium $$\text{K}$$ Carbon $$\text{C}$$ Calcium $$\text{Ca}$$ Nitrogen $$\text{N}$$ Iron $$\text{Fe}$$ Oxygen $$\text{O}$$ Nickel $$\text{Ni}$$ Fluorine $$\text{F}$$ Copper $$\text{Cu}$$ Neon $$\text{Ne}$$ Zinc $$\text{Zn}$$ Sodium $$\text{Na}$$ Silver $$\text{Ag}$$ Magnesium $$\text{Mg}$$ Platinum $$\text{Pt}$$ Aluminium $$\text{Al}$$ Gold $$\text{Au}$$ Silicon $$\text{Si}$$ Mercury $$\text{Hg}$$

Table: List of the first 20 elements and some common transition metals