Chemical element

  • chemical element
  • A substance made up of atoms with the same atomic number; common examples are hydrogen, gold, and iron.
Abstract from DBPedia
    A chemical element is a species of atoms that have a given number of protons in their nuclei, including the pure substance consisting only of that species. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements cannot be broken down into simpler substances by any chemical reaction. The number of protons in the nucleus is the defining property of an element, and is referred to as its atomic number (represented by the symbol Z) – all atoms with the same atomic number are atoms of the same element. Almost all of the baryonic matter of the universe is composed of chemical elements (among rare exceptions are neutron stars). When different elements undergo chemical reactions, atoms are rearranged into new compounds held together by chemical bonds. Only a minority of elements, such as silver and gold, are found uncombined as relatively pure native element minerals. Nearly all other naturally occurring elements occur in the Earth as compounds or mixtures. Air is primarily a mixture of the elements nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, though it does contain compounds including carbon dioxide and water. The history of the discovery and use of the elements began with primitive human societies that discovered native minerals like carbon, sulfur, copper and gold (though the concept of a chemical element was not yet understood). Attempts to classify materials such as these resulted in the concepts of classical elements, alchemy, and various similar theories throughout human history. Much of the modern understanding of elements developed from the work of Dmitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist who published the first recognizable periodic table in 1869. This table organizes the elements by increasing atomic number into rows ("periods") in which the columns ("groups") share recurring ("periodic") physical and chemical properties. The periodic table summarizes various properties of the elements, allowing chemists to derive relationships between them and to make predictions about compounds and potential new ones. By November 2016, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry had recognized a total of 118 elements. The first 94 occur naturally on Earth, and the remaining 24 are synthetic elements produced in nuclear reactions. Save for unstable radioactive elements (radionuclides) which decay quickly, nearly all of the elements are available industrially in varying amounts. The discovery and synthesis of further new elements is an ongoing area of scientific study.

    元素(げんそ、羅: elementum、英: element)は、古代から中世においては、万物(物質)の根源をなす不可欠な究極的要素を指しており、現代では、「原子」が《物質を構成する要素》を指すのに対し「元素」は《性質を包括する抽象的概念》を示す用語となった。化学の分野では、化学物質を構成する基礎的な成分(要素)を指す概念を指し、これは特に「化学元素」と呼ばれる。 化学物質を構成する基礎的な要素と「万物の根源をなす究極的要素」としての元素とは異なるが、自然科学における元素に言及している文献では、混同や説明不足も見られる。 「元素周期表」も参照