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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Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory just made history with einsteinium. They held a sample of the short-lived element long enough to measure some of its chemical properties.

By Dave Roos

More than fodder for melt-in-your-hand YouTube videos, gallium is a key component in LED lights and the powerful microchips in your smartphone.

By Dave Roos

Although the term might be unfamiliar, you know all about alkali metals. Ever used salt or eaten a banana? So, what special properties do these elements have?

By Trevor English

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Tungsten's hardness and heat resistance make it a must for products like rocket engine nozzles, armor-piercing bullets and even the humble light bulb filament. In fact, pure tungsten boils at 10,030 F, the same as the photosphere of the sun.

By Dave Roos

Don't know your fool's gold from the real deal? We'll tell you how to tell what's pyrite (aka fool's gold) and the good ol' 24 karat stuff you want.

By Mark Mancini

Diatomic elements are molecules composed of only two atoms, every time, always. There are only seven of them on the entire periodic table.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Bismuth is a naturally occurring element with many applications in our daily lives, but even more than that, it looks amazing when it cools!

By Jesslyn Shields

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You don't need to be a fan of chemistry to appreciate isotopes. They affect geology and medicine, too.

By Mark Mancini

Award-winning poet and fiction writer Mary Soon Lee has found a charming way to combine science and poetry in a refreshing new take on the periodic table of elements.

By Carrie Tatro

It’s the ultimate cheat sheet for science class — and it’s right there hanging on the wall. What do you really know about the indispensable periodic table of elements?

By Nathan Chandler

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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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?

By William Harris

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.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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?

By William Harris

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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?

By Marshall Brain

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

By Patrick J. Kiger