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First 20 Elements

The first 20 elements of the periodic table have been tabulated below, along with their symbols and atomic numbers.

Atomic Number Element Symbol
1 Hydrogen H
2 Helium He
3 Lithium Li
4 Beryllium Be
5 Boron B
6 Carbon C
7 Nitrogen N
8 Oxygen O
9 Fluorine F
10 Neon Ne
11 Sodium Na
12 Magnesium Mg
13 Aluminium Al
14 Silicon Si
15 Phosphorus P
16 Sulfur S
17 Chlorine Cl
18 Argon Ar
19 Potassium K
20 Calcium Ca

Table of Contents

What Information does the Atomic Number of an Element Provide?

The atomic number of an element provides insight into the number of protons that exist inside the nuclei of the atoms of that element and also into the number of electrons that surround these nuclei. For example, the atomic number of sodium is 11. This implies that the nucleus of the sodium atom contains 11 protons and is surrounded by a total of 11 electrons. Since the atomic number of an atom is equal to the number of electrons it contains, the electronic configuration of the element can be determined just by knowing its atomic number.

It is important to note that the number of neutrons that exist in the nucleus of an atom cannot be determined by its atomic number. Different isotopes of an element may have the same number of protons and electrons (since they have the same atomic number), but they may have varying numbers of neutrons. For example, a sodium atom may have 11, 12, or 13 neutrons (based on the isotope) but will always have 11 protons and 11 electrons.

Why is Potassium denoted by the symbol ‘K’ and Sodium by the symbol ‘Na’?

The symbol of potassium is ‘K’ because it is derived from the medieval Latin name for the element, which was ‘Kalium’. Similarly, the symbol for the element sodium is ‘Na’ because it is used to denote its older name ‘Natrium’. Several other elements have symbols denoting their old names. A few such examples have been listed below.

  • The symbol of iron is ‘Fe’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Ferrum’.
  • The symbol of copper is ‘Cu’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Cuprum’.
  • The symbol of silver is ‘Ag’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Argentum’.
  • The symbol of tin is ‘Sn’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Stannum’.
  • The symbol of antimony is ‘Sb’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Stibium’.
  • The symbol of tungsten is ‘W’, which denotes the German name ‘Wolfram’.
  • The symbol of gold is ‘Au’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Aurum’.
  • The symbol of mercury is ‘Hg’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Hydrargyrum’.
  • The symbol of lead is ‘Pb’, which denotes the Latin name ‘Plumbum’.

Also, check ⇒ Chemistry Concept Questions and Answers

To learn more about the first 20 elements and to access more data pages on the chemical elements, such as a list of all 118 elements with their symbols and atomic numbers, register with BYJU’S and download the mobile application on your smartphone.

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Periodic Table of Elements

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on First 20 Elements

What are the first 20 elements in order?

  1. H – Hydrogen
  2. He – Helium
  3. Li – Lithium
  4. Be – Beryllium
  5. B – Boron
  6. C – Carbon
  7. N – Nitrogen
  8. O – Oxygen
  9. F – Fluorine
  10. Ne – Neon
  11. Na – Sodium
  12. Mg – Magnesium
  13. Al – Aluminium
  14. Si – Silicon
  15. P – Phosphorus
  16. S – Sulphur
  17. Cl – Chlorine
  18. Ar – Argon
  19. K – Potassium
  20. Ca – Calcium

Define Element Symbols and Numbers.

The number of the element is its atomic number, that is the number of protons in the nucleus for every atom of that element. While the element symbol is a one- or two-letter abbreviation of the element’s name. It can also refer to an old name. (K, for example, stands for kalium).

What is the Atomic Mass of Elements?

The total mass of one atom of a specific element is defined as the atomic mass of that element. Its unit is termed the unified atomic mass unit and is signified by the symbol ‘u’.

Standard atomic weight is utilised to deliver the value of the mean of the atomic masses in a mixture of isotopes in a provided sample of an element.

Why are the first 20 elements so important?

About 99% of the mass of the human body is made of six of these elements. The first 20 elements provide a great overview of the various element groups. They can also be found in more common chemical processes.

How are the first 20 elements arranged in the periodic table?

The periodic table lists the elements in order of increasing atomic number. This has been also the number of protons in each atom. The first 20 items are listed in the following order: H stands for hydrogen.

What are the metal(s) and non-metals in the first 20 elements?

Lithium, Beryllium, Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Potassium, and Calcium are metals in the first twenty elements. Hydrogen, Helium, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Phosphorous, Sulphur, Chlorine, and Argon are the non-metals in the first twenty elements.

What are the electrons of the first 5 elements?

1) Hydrogen (H): Valency : 1 , Valence electrons : 1

2) Helium (He): Valency : 0, Valence electrons : 2

3) Lithium (Li): Valency : 1, Valence electrons : 1

4) Beryllium (Be): Valency : 2, Valence electrons : 2

5) Boron (B): Valency : 3, Valence electrons : 3

Which of the first 20 elements do not form compounds easily and why?

Noble gases except He, have complete s and p outer electron shells. So they are not easily involved in chemical reactions and bond formations.

Which of the first 20 elements are noble gases?

There are three noble gases in the first 20 elements: Helium (He), Neon (Ne), and Argon (Ar). Helium has an atomic number 2, Neon has an atomic number of 10, while Argon has an atomic number of 18.

How many periods are in the periodic table?

The periodic table of the elements lists all of the chemical elements that have been discovered or created; they are organised into seven horizontal periods in the order of their atomic numbers, with the lanthanoids, lanthanum, 57, to lutetium, 71, and actinoids, actinium, 89, to lawrencium, 103 mentioned independently.

Take up a quiz on First 20 Elements


  1. What is the chemical name for salt

  2. Please give me the electronic structure of first 20 elements

  3. How to remember the 20 elements easily

    • The ‘secret’ to memorizing is visualization and association. You’ve ever watched someone memorize a deck of playing cards in minutes, and dreamed about what you could do with a memory like that.

      Click here to learn about the Atomic Mass of Elements

  4. what is the chemical name of sugar.

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  6. I Love chemistry

  7. What is the chemical name of oxygen

  8. i really appreciates your effort and concerned, thank you

  9. How was Gravity Formed?

  10. What is chemical name of paper

    • Paper is ground up wood pulp, which is then processed, frequently bleached and other chemicals might be added to make a desired colour or smoothness. Cellulose, a primary component, has a chemical formula, (C6H10O5)n, but paper is too much of a mixture to have a single chemical formula.

  11. Very helpful this cleared all my doubts

  12. What is chemical reaction

    • Chemical reaction, a process in which one or more substances, the reactants, are converted to one or more different substances, the products.

  13. What is Atomicity

  14. Why are chemical symbols useful ?

    • Chemical symbols are used to standardize the ‘language of chemistry’ and to identify elements and atoms in a chemical formula easily. Chemical symbols consist of one or two letters, most often derived from the name of the element.

  15. why does sodium react vigorously when kept in open?

    • Sodium is a highly reactive metal and reacts vigorously with the oxygen, carbon dioxide and moisture present in the air such that it may even cause a fire. To prevent this explosive reaction, Sodium is kept immersed in kerosene because Sodium doesn’t react with kerosene.

      • What is the element name of Ag

      • The element name of Ag is Silver.
        Silver (Ag), chemical element, a white lustrous metal valued for its decorative beauty and electrical conductivity. Silver is located in Group 11 (Ib) and Period 5 of the periodic table, between copper (Period 4) and gold (Period 6), and its physical and chemical properties are intermediate between those two metals.

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