Element Definition

What is an Element?

The chemical element read as follows:

a species of atoms all atoms with the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus. A pure chemical substance composed of atoms with the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus.

The question of the conceptual nature of the term “element” represents a rather unique opportunity to examine the relationship that currently exists between chemists and philosophers of chemistry.

Chemical element was first presented by the English scientist Robert Boyle. He defined an element as a substance “incapable of decomposition” and like a true scientist added the prophetic by any means with which we are now acquainted. Boyle’s definition comes admirable close to present day theory. Elements have been changed in the laboratories of today, though not by any chemical means.

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Origin of the Elements

A young American chemist named F.W.Clarke state in 1873: “It is probable that the chemical elements were originally developed by a process of evolution from much simpler forms of matter as is indicated by the progressive chemical complexity observed in passing from the nebulae through the hot stars to the cold planets.

Clarke attempted to prove his hypothesis by representing the relative abundance of the elements by a curve taking their atomic weights for one set of ordinates. He has hoped that some sort of periodicity might be evident but no such regularity appeared and no definite connection with the periodic law seemed to be traceable.

Yet certain other regularities were worth noticing; all of the abundant elements were low in the scale of atomic weight, reaching a maximum at 56 in iron. Above 56 the elements were comparatively rare, and only two of them, barium and strontium appeared in clarkes estimates.

Geochemical Classification of the Elements

Goldschmidt stated that based on the existing data on the affinity of various elements for oxygen and sulfur, we can obtain a geochemical classification of the elements. From the free energy of formation of oxides combined with the free energy of formation of various elements with iron, he drew up a list of elements which are concentrated in the iron phase of meteorites and probably also in the supposed iron core of the earth. He called these elements siderophile elements or elements tending to concentrate in metallic iron. Typical examples are nickel, cobalt and the metals of the palladium and platinum groups.

A second group is formed by those elements which have a greater free energy of oxidation, per gram of oxygen that iron. To these elements, Goldschmidt gave the name lithophile elements or elements tending to concentrate in stony matter. They concentrate in the stony matter of the earth, as well as in the stony matter of meteorites as oxides or silicates.

The third group is formed by elements concentrated in the sulfide phases of meteorites such as troilite and Goldschmidt called them chalcophile elements. Elements which occur either in the uncombined state such as oxygen nitrogen and rare gases etc. or volatile compounds. According to Goldschmidt they are atmophile elements. Finally we can distinguish the biophilic elements which are concentrated in and by living plants and animals.

Frequently Asked Questions on Element Definition

What does element mean?

An element is a substance whose atoms all have the same number of protons: another way of saying this is that all atoms of a given element have the same number of atoms. Elements are the simplest chemical elements and thus can not be broken down through chemical reactions.

What are the main elements?

The Five Base Elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. In a state of continuous interaction and flux with each other these elements are known as different types of energy. Not only does The Five Elements mean Fire, Earth, Water, Metal, and Wood. We also apply to motion, transition, and growth.

What are the six elements of life?

While biomolecules contain more than 25 types of elements, six elements are most common. The letters represent the chemical abbreviations of carbon , hydrogen , nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus , and sulfur.

Is water more powerful than fire?

Water is more powerful with life and, in my opinion and many others, giving back because, while it can destroy, it houses many creatures and it needs almost everything in the world to survive. Fire is seen as more deadly, though it also helps with life and life, even if it is a little less than water.

What are the 2 main types of elements?

This is also possible to classify the elements into two major classes, the metals and non-metals. Metals usually have a translucent shiny sheen which is malleable, bendable and conducts electricity. Typically, nonmetals do not exhibit these properties.

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