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The Periodic Table of Elements - Periodic Chart

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Chemistry is the section of science that studies the characteristics of substances and their reactions when they are mixed with each other. Basically, chemistry is the study of matter and the composition, structure and reactions of matter. So what is matter? Everything on Earth and in our universe is made up of matter - anything you can see, touch or smell is considered matter.

Matter comes in three different main states: gases, liquids and solids. There's also a fourth state, plasma, but it only exists at very high temperatures. Molecules in a plasma state don't always behave the same. Speaking of molecules... atoms and molecules are what make matter possible. They're what every material in the universe is made of.

Confused? Because there are so many elements (a substance that cannot be broken down any further) and there's the chance of more being discovered, they've been organized into a table. The Periodic Table of Elements or Periodic Chart as it's also known as, is based on atomic numbers and electron configuration. There are 109 elements that make up the Periodic Table of Elements so far. Element names are abbreviated. Most of the time the abbreviations make sense (like C for Carbon) but not always (like Na for Sodium.) There are four elements that make up 99 percent of living organisms. They are: hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N) and carbon (C).

The Periodic Table of Elements is arranged in rows called periods. Columns in the chart are grouped together by similar properties like gases, metals and earth. The number in each box is the number of atoms and the letters are the abbreviation for the symbol. Click here to check out the Period Table of Elements and more information on the elements.

Looking for the coolest chemistry-related science fair project? How about making the biggest bubble? Click here for bubbles of fun and for the 411 on bubbles.

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