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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.

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?

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

Cyanuric acid disinfects swimming pools but could be key to building new kind of DNA structures. Learn more in this HowStuffWorks Now article. See more »

How Gold Works

The rarity of gold is just one reason why people value the precious metal. Learn why gold inspires men to wage war and how we find and refine gold. See more »

How the Periodic Table Works

The periodic table currently organizes more than 100 named elements and several unnamed ones. Learn about the periodic table. See more »

How Lead Works

Lead is a heavy metal that often occurs in compounds and has no role in the human body. Learn more about lead and some of its remarkable properties. See more »

How Aluminum Works

Aluminum is used in many products, from pots and pans to light bulbs and power lines. Learn how aluminum went undiscovered for so long. See more »

Breathing 100-percent oxygen might seem like a good idea but it can actually be harmful if we do that. Learn about breathing pure oxygen. See more »

How is helium made? See more »