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.


Iridium, a hard, white, metallic element of the platinum family. It is found in mineral deposits with platinum and osmium.

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  • How Aluminum Works

    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 »

  • How Gold Works

    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 Lead Works

    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 the Periodic Table Works

    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 »

  • Barium


    Barium, a soft, silvery-white, metallic element of the alkaline-earth group, related to calcium. See more »

  • Copper Info

    Copper Info

    Copper, a reddish metallic element. It was one of the first metals to be made into tools. See more »

  • Fluorine


    Fluorine, a chemical element. It is a pale yellow gas at ordinary temperatures. Fluorine is a corrosive substance and has a strong odor. See more »

  • Helium


    Helium, a chemical element that is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas at most temperatures and pressures. See more »

  • How is helium made?

    How is helium made?

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

  • Is it harmful to breathe 100-percent oxygen?

    Is it harmful to breathe 100-percent oxygen?

    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 »

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