Elements and Compounds

Elements and Compounds


Certainly, you have seen gold, silver, or iron. No matter how far you divide pure gold, you will get nothing but gold. The same is applicable in the cases with silver or iron. When divided, the matter which does not yield anything but itself is called an element. 

Besides the above three, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, carbon, helium, argon, magnesium, sulfur, etc. are also elements. So far, a total of 118 elements have been discovered.

Out of them, 98 elements are available in nature and the rest are made in the laboratory. The second group is known as artificial elements. 


You have already known that an element yields the element only. If water is analyzed, we shall find two different elements- hydrogen and oxygen. In the same way, if we analyze writing chalk, we get calcium, carbon, and oxygen.

The substances which, if divided, give away two or more elements are called compounds. In a compound, elements will always exist in the same ratio. For example, chemical analysis of any water sample collected from any place will show two hydrogens and one oxygen. 

That means the ratio of hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water is 2 : 1. The characteristics of compounds are different from those of elements they are made of. Again, for example, at normal room temperature, hydrogen and oxygen are gaseous elements but when they make water, it is a liquid.

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