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Chemical Elements

Chemical elements are substances composed of only one type of atom and they cannot be broken down further. Chemical elements are the simplest forms of matter and each one is assigned a specific atomic number. Check out these articles on chemical elements.

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How Lead Works

Lead is one of the most maligned metals on the periodic table and for good reason. Lead poisoning is serious. But the beleaguered element isn't all bad, especially when it's protecting you from radiation.


Common Pool Chemical Could Be Key to Building Triple-Helix DNA Nanomaterials

A molecule used to protect the chlorine in swimming pools from sunlight could be key to building new kind of DNA structures See more »

How Gold Works

We love it. We wear it glittering around our necks and sparkling at our ears, wrists and feet. We pass it down to our children and hoard it in secret stashes. Why is this precious metal so prized? See more »

How the Periodic Table Works

It begins with an unassuming "H" and ends in crazy elements that you've likely never heard of. But the periodic table, encapsulated on a mere sheet of paper, can be a scientist's best friend and a testament to our human drive to organize the world. See more »

How Lead Works

Lead is one of the most maligned metals on the periodic table and for good reason. Lead poisoning is serious. But the beleaguered element isn't all bad, especially when it's protecting you from radiation. See more »

How Aluminum Works

Once considered a semiprecious metal alongside gold and silver, aluminum pretty much languished in obscurity until the 19th century. How did the metal become so ubiquitous? See more »

We need oxygen to live, so it seems to me that if we got more oxygen, we would be better off. Is it harmful to breathe 100-percent oxygen? What will happen? See more »

Helium is the second lightest element on the Periodic Table. How is helium created? See more »