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Elements, Their Chemical Formula and Atomic Number

what are the 118 elements of the periodic table

Every matter involved in the world is made up of elements. Matter can be either solid, liquid or gas. The matter may be formed by the same elements or a combination of elements. It is said that matter originated from elements after cooling the universe by combining the protons, neutrons and electrons. 

As elements play a major role in our daily lives in every aspect, it is a must to know about them and apply them in necessary areas. Together 118 elements are known to us to date.

Now let us understand what are the 118 elements of the periodic table in detail. 

Also Read : The star of which sitcom shares his last name with a common type of wrench?

What is an element?

Any element can be defined as a pure chemical substance made up of only one atom, and its nuclei consist of the same numbers of protons as that of electrons. An element cannot be broken down into further simpler forms by chemical reaction.

Example: Oxygen, copper, gold, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen

What do you mean by Element symbols/Chemical formulas?

Element symbols are abbreviations consisting of one or two letters from the Latin alphabet of the chemical element name and are written capitalising the first letter. It is represented by the symbol “X”. Certain details can be added as superscripts or subscripts to their element symbols like “A” (atomic number) and “Z” (mass number).

Atomic number (Proton number): 

  • It is the total number of protons in the nucleus of every atom for any element.
  • It is represented by symbol Z 

Mass number/ atomic mass number/nucleon number: 

  • It refers to the total number of protons and neutrons (nucleons) in an atomic nucleus.
  • It is represented by symbol A

Before knowing about Elements in detail, let us make ourselves clear with key terms:

  • Atoms are the building blocks of any substance in a solid, liquid or plasma state.
  • Each atom is composed of small particles known as electrons, protons and neutrons. 
  • Electrons are negatively charged subatomic particle 
  • Protons are positively charged subatomic particles and a strong nuclear force binds them in the nucleus of an atom
  • Neutrons are neutral subatomic particles with no charge, and a strong nuclear force binds them in the nucleus of an atom
  • The nucleus consists of protons and neutrons
  • Electrons are seen orbiting around the nucleus in ‘shells.’
  • Shells are a set of electron orbitals having the same principal quantum number.
  • Electronic configuration refers to the distribution of electrons in atomic or molecular orbitals (s, p, d, f)
  • Each orbital can only hold 2 electrons max and will be filled in the order s, p, d, and f

What are isotopes?

When atoms of the same element consist of different numbers of neutrons, they are called isotopes. 

Example: 12C, 13C and 14C.

What are Allotropes?

The bonding of atoms in chemically pure elements in different ways gives different chemical structures known as allotropes. 

Example: Carbon in diamond and graphite has different structural arrangements.

Modern Periodic table:

  • Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev (1869) designed a tabular form for arranging elements.
  • Modern periodic law states that “The physical and chemical properties of the elements are periodic functions of their atomic numbers.

What is the periodic table composed of?

  • It consists of 18 vertical columns called Groups and 7 series of rows called Periods.
  • Periods fall into three categories, namely Short (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Long (4th, 5th, 6th) and Incomplete (7th) based on the number of elements they contain
  • All group elements have the same number of outer electrons, sharing similar chemical and physical properties.
  • Few groups are divided as A and B subgroups to make it more specific.

List of elements with their specific symbol and atomic number

Element Name Symbol of the Element Atomic Number
Hydrogen H 1
Helium He 2
Lithium Li 3
Beryllium Be 4
Boron B 5
Carbon C 6
Nitrogen N 7
Oxygen O 8
Fluorine F 9
Neon Ne 10
Sodium Na 11
Magnesium Mg 12
Aluminium Al 13
Silicon Si 14
Phosphorus P 15
Sulfur S 16
Chlorine Cl 17
Argon Ar 18
Potassium K 19
Calcium Ca 20
Scandium Sc 21
Titanium Ti 22
Vanadium V 23
Chromium Cr 24
Manganese Mn 25
Iron Fe 26
Cobalt Co 27
Nickel Ni 28
Copper Cu 29
Zinc Zn 30
Gallium Ga 31
Germanium Ge 32
Arsenic As 33
Selenium Se 34
Bromine Br 35
Krypton Kr 36
Rubidium Rb 37
Strontium Sr 38
Yttrium Y 39
Zirconium Zr 40
Niobium Nb 41
Molybdenum Mo 42
Technetium Tc 43
Ruthenium Ru 44
Rhodium Rh 45
Palladium Pd 46
Silver Ag 47
Cadmium Cd 48
Indium In 49
Tin Sn 50
Antimony Sb 51
Tellurium Te 52
Iodine I 53
Xenon Xe 54
Cesium Cs 55
Barium Ba 56
Lanthanum La 57
Cerium Ce 58
Praseodymium Pr 59
Neodymium Nd 60
Promethium Pm 61
Samarium Sm 62
Europium Eu 63
Gadolinium Gd 64
Terbium Tb 65
Dysprosium Dy 66
Holmium Ho 67
Erbium Er 68
Thulium Tm 69
Ytterbium Yb 70
Lutetium Lu 71
Hafnium Hf 72
Tantalum Ta 73
Tungsten W 74
Rhenium Re 75
Osmium Os 76
Iridium Ir 77
Platinum Pt 78
Gold Au 79
Mercury Hg 80
Thallium Tl 81
Lead Pb 82
Bismuth Bi 83
Polonium Po 84
Astatine At 85
Radon Rn 86
Francium Fr 87
Radium Ra 88
Actinium Ac 89
Thorium Th 90
Protactinium Pa 91
Uranium U 92
Neptunium Np 93
Plutonium Pu 94
Americium Am 95
Curium Cm 96
Berkelium Bk 97
Californium Cf 98
Einsteinium Es 99
Fermium Fm 100
Mendelevium Md 101
Nobelium No 102
Lawrencium Lr 103
Rutherfordium Rf 104
Dubnium Db 105
Seaborgium Sg 106
Bohrium Bh 107
Hassium Hs 108
Meitnerium Mt 109
Darmstadtium Ds 110
Roentgenium Rg 111
Copernicium Cn 112
Nihonium Nh 113
Flerovium Fl 114
Moscovium Mc 115
Livermorium Lv 116
Tennessine Ts 117
Oganesson Og 118

Properties of Elements used for characterisation

  1. Metals (That conducts electricity), Non-metals (that does not conduct electricity) and metalloids (that have intermediate conductivity)
  2. The periodic table is classified as halogens, post-transition metals, metalloids, reactive nonmetals, noble gases, alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals, lanthanides, actinides.
  3. States of matter at STP
  4. Elements can exist in different states of matter, i.e. as solids, liquids or gases at STP.
  5. Melting and boiling points of elements at one atmospheric pressure differ for each element and can be a factor in distinguishing.
  6. Densities: It is measured at standard temperature and pressure and used for characterising elements
  7. Crystal structures: Crystal structures of elements in the solid-state may be of eight different kinds, namely cubic, face-centred cubic, body-centred cubic, hexagonal, monoclinic, orthorhombic, tetragonal and rhombohedral.
  8. Basis of the occurrence on Earth: Some elements naturally occur, and few are man-made.


So now we are aware of all the 118 elements and their symbols and atomic numbers. These elements cannot be broken down into any other simpler form. Each element has a unique atomic number and on this basis are arranged in the periodic table in their increasing order. Vertical columns in the periodic table include elements with similar properties. Hydrogen is the lightest element known to date.

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