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Chapter 4.2 Organizing the Elements

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David Thaggard

on 22 October 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 4.2 Organizing the Elements

Grade 8 Physical Science

Chapter 4.2 Organizing the Elements
Atomic Number: the atom's number on the Periodic Table, which is also the number of PROTONS in the nucleus
So, what information do you find on an element's spot on the Periodic Table?
Basically, all elements start out as either Hydrogen or Helium in the form of stars--like our Sun. Because the heat and pressure (due to gravity) in the Sun are so intense, atoms begin to fuse together in a process called Nuclear Fusion.
So, you might be wondering, exactly where do the elements come from?
It's more like scientists are discovering them. They "discover" them because the conditions that created our planet aren't necessarily the conditions that could create some elements.

Those elements almost certainly exist in other parts of the solar system, or galaxy, or even Universe--where the conditions are right.
So, when we talk about scientists creating new elements, they aren't actually creating them.
The Periodic Table of Elements is a way chemists organize all the known elements and it's useful because it organizes all elements in patterns. These patterns include reactivity, magnetism, and other properties.

The first Periodic Table was actually organized by a Russian chap by the name of Dmitri Mendeleev (who was looking to make a quick buck):
So, you want to know about the Periodic Table of Elements?
So, you might be wondering what elements, exactly, are on the Periodic Table? Well, here's a little ditty that will stick with you for a while heh heh heh...
Atomic Symbol, or abbreviation, of the element's name. In this case, "He" stands for Helium. In other cases, the symbol is based on the element's Latin name (like Iron, whose symbol is "Fe").
The element's name. This guy is called Helium, and it makes your voice squeaky.
Atomic Mass, or how much matter one atom of this element has. But this is where things get tricky--you might expect that a Helium atom would have an atomic mass of 4, since it normally has 2 PROTONS and 2 NEUTRONS. But because Helium, like nearly every other element, has Isotopes, the Atomic Mass is actually an average of the masses of all the different isotopes of an element.
During Fusion, atoms combine to form heavier (more dense) atoms. This process releases other particles (usually Neutrons) and energy in the form of heat and light--ergo, the heat and light from our Sun.
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