Basic Chemistry

Basic Chemistry

Basic Chemistry Matter is anything that takes up space and has weight; it can be a solid, a liquid, or a gas. Therefore, not only are we humans matter, but so are the water we drink and the air we breathe. Elements and Atoms All matter is composed of basic substances called elements. It’s quite remarkable that there are only 92 naturally occurring elements. It is even more surprising that over 90% of the human body is composed of just four elements: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen. Every element has a name and a symbol; for example, carbon has been assigned the atomic symbol C (Fig. 2.1a). Some of the symbols we use for elements are derived from Latin. For example, the symbol for sodium is Na because natrium in Latin means sodium. Elements are composed of tiny particles called atoms. The same name is given to both an element and its atoms.AtomsAn atom is the smallest unit of an element that still retains the chemical and physical properties of the element. Although it is...
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