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When you go to the library to find a book, you locate it through a number by the title. This approach organizes information so that people can easily find what they are looking for. Chemistry information also needs to be organized so we can see patterns of properties in elements.
The periodic table of the elements organizes the chemical elements according to the atomic number. Each of the elements occupies a position in the periodic table. Each row is called “period” and each column is named “group” or “family”.
An element is a pure substance that is made of only one kind of atom. Examples: oxygen, nitrogen, carbon...
The symbol of each element is the first letter or the first two letters of its name.
1. For some elements, the letter(s) of the symbol comes from the Latin or Greek name of the elements. Examples:
• gold (Au) → Aurum (= shining dawn)
• sodium (Na) → Natrium
• potassium (K) → Kalium
• silver (Ag) → from the Greek “clear, bright”
• copper (Cu) → Cuprum after Cipro’s island
2. Some other elements are named after places. Examples:
• polonium (Po) → Poland, country of birth of Marie Curie who discovered it
• americium (Am) → North America
• francium (Fr) → France
• germanium (Ge) → Germany
• magnesium (Mg) → from Magnesia, Greek ancient city
3. Some elements are named after famous scientists.
Examples: rutherfordium (Rf); einsteinium (Es); fermium (Fm); mendelevium (Md).
9. Matching activity
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