You as well as the world around you are both great examples of elements of science. Your life on the earth is a perfect mix of biology, physics, and chemistry combined. Chemistry is a hard nut to crack and understand though. Some people even curse at this subject as the chemical formulas are quite hard to comprehend sometimes. But mark a thing in your head that without the chemical compounds and elements you as well as your world will cease to exist. Now you might be wondering what are elements or compounds? What are examples of elements in your body? What are elements examples on the earth? Let’s find out!
1. What are Elements?
The chemical substances that cannot be further broken into a simpler form by any chemical reaction are called elements. In elements, all the atoms have the same number of protons in their atoms. Despite this, the elements can have different numbers of neutrons in their atoms as this causes them to have different masses. (See Why do atoms form chemical bonds?)
2. How many Elements are there?
Elements are the simplest chemical substances that cannot be broken into any further simpler form by any chemical reaction. There are about 118 known elements in the periodic table. They are represented in the periodic table by their IUPAC symbols. Examples of elements are gold (Au), silver (Ag), hydrogen (H), cobalt (Co), oxygen (O), potassium (K), etc. The elements are further classified as metals, non-metals, and metalloids.
- Metals: They include alkali earth metals, actinides, lanthanides, alkali metals, and transition metals. They are mostly hard metallic-looking solids with high electrical and thermal conductivity. They also have high melting and boiling point. For example, copper, iron, zinc, nickel, gold, cobalt, etc.
- Non-metals: They are very few in comparison to metals. These elements may be solid, liquid, or gas. They are often soft and colorful. They aren’t good conductors and have lower melting and boiling point. For example, Sulphur, Carbon, Halogens, noble gases, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, etc. (See How many valence electrons does oxygen have?)
- Metalloids: They have the properties of both metal and non-metals. For example, Boron, Silicon, Arsenic, Polonium, Germanium, etc.
3. What is a Pure Element?
An element that has the same kind of atoms is called a pure element. The atoms have the same numbers of protons in them. Thus each element is a pure element as there there is no mixing in the elements and the simplest chemical substances. (See What is the NH4 Lewis Structure?)
4. What are Pure Elements Examples?
All elements are basically pure elements because elements have no mixing. They are the simplest chemical substances that cannot be broken further via any chemical reactions. The periodic table is full of pure elements. For example, Hydrogen, Helium, Oxygen, Neon, Nitrogen, Carbon, etc. (See What Does 3D Mean?)
5. What Elements are humans made of?
The elements are the construction unit of the human body. They form molecules, DNA, RNA, cells, tissues, organs, etc. The human body is constituted of about 20 different elements. The primary four among them are hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. The examples of elements in the human body is as follows:
- Hydrogen: Its function is to keep the body hydrated. It forms water that is absorbed by body cells. Must read how many Heartbeats in a Day of Humans?
- Oxygen: It makes up half the mass of the human body. This element is essential for aerobic cellular respiration. It is used by mitochondria to produce ATP which is an energy molecule. Also, check out what is ATP meaning in text?
- Nitrogen: It makes amino acid which is required to make proteins. It also produces nucleic acids which form RNA and DNA.
- Carbon: Its chains are used to build carbohydrates, nucleic acids, proteins, and fats.
- Calcium: It is often associated with healthy bones and teeth. It helps in contracting muscles, plays important role in blood clotting, and regulates nerve functions, and normal heart rhythms.
- Phosphorus: The main function of phosphorus involves the formation of bones and teeth. It is also the main component of DNA and RNA. It is also a key energy source for the body in the form of ATP.
- Sulfur: It is needed to build and fix DNA and protect cells from damage. It is a great contributor to the health of the skin, tendons, and ligaments.
- Chlorine: The compounds of chlorines are important for electrical neutrality in the body.
- Magnesium: It is the key component of one of the most important detoxification enzymes in the body called superoxide dismutase.
- Iron: It is needed to make hemoglobin and carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.
- Fluorine: It hardens the teeth.
- Zinc: It’s needed for the sense of smell and taste. It is required for the proper working of the body’s immune system.
- Iodine: It’s a component of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone.
- Strontium: It’s found exclusively in bones.
- Copper: It is an important component of enzymes in the body.
- Manganese: It helps the body to form sex hormones, connective tissues, bones, and blood clotting factors.
- Molybdenum: It is used to process proteins and genetic materials. (Also read When and How do Body Systems Work together?)
6. List of Examples of Elements in Everyday Life
You live with the help of elements in your body and you also live around different elements. Apart from the elements used by your body, these are some examples of elements used in your everyday life.
- Sodium is combined with Chlorine to produce table salt.
- Aluminum is used in making airplanes, buildings, pots, pans, etc.
- Carbon is found in all living beings, coal, oil gas, ink, etc.
- Bromine is used in medicines, photography, and insecticides.
- Calcium is found in chalks, limestones, marbles, etc.
- Copper is used in wires, coins, and cooking utensils.
- Mercury is used in thermometers.
- Nitrogen is used in fertilizers. (See What Do Botanists Do?)
- Neon is used in road signs.
- Iodine is used in cuts and wounds.
- Iron is used in buildings, machines, etc.
Other than these elements like gold, oxygen, potassium, chromium, silver, silicon, etc are also used in your day-to-day life. (See Busted! Evaporation Line Myths on a Pregnancy Test)
7. What are the 20 most common Elements?
The 20 most common examples of elements are Hydrogen (H), Helium (He), Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N), Oxygen (O), Aluminium (Al), Silicon (Si), Sulphur (S), Chlorine (Cl), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni)l, Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Silver (Ag), Tin (Zn), Mercury (Hg), and Gold (Au). (See All Battery Sizes with Pictures)
8. Is Diamond an Element?
Yes, diamond is scientifically classified as an element. It is made up of a single element Carbon and appears in a crystalline form. It is an allotrope of carbon. The carbon atoms in it are organized in a repetitive 3-D tetrahedral shape. To give color to diamonds certain impurities like nitrogen and boron elements are introduced which make diamond a compound. Also, check out what are Rubies made of?
9. Is Air an Example of an Element?
Different gases like Hydrogen, Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, and Oxygen mix together to form air. Hence, the air is a mixture, not an element. It is not a simple chemical substance that can be broken down into simpler forms by chemical reactions. (See What is the Main Source of Water?)