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Chemical Element

Organization Of The Elements

The task of organizing more than a hundred very different elements into some simple, sensible arrangement would seem difficult. Mendeleev's periodic table, however, is the answer. It even accommodates the synthetic transuranium elements without strain. In this encyclopedia, each individual chemical element is discussed under at least one of the following types of entry: (1) Fourteen particularly important elements are discussed in their own entries. They are aluminum, calcium, carbon, chlorine, copper, hydrogen, iron, lead, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and uranium. (2) Elements that belong to any of seven families of elements—groups of elements that have similar chemical properties—are discussed under their family-name headings. These seven families are the actinides, alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, halogens, lanthanides, rare gases, and transuranium elements. (3) Elements that are not discussed either under their own name or as part of a family ("orphan elements") are discussed briefly below. Any element that is not discussed below can be found in the headings described above.


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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Electrophoresis (cataphoresis) to EphemeralChemical Element - A Survey Of The Elements, History Of The Elements, Organization Of The Elements, "orphan" Elements