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The Diverse Range of Chemical Elements

A simple introduction to the chemical elements that shape our world.

By Unravelling the UniversePublished 2 months ago 3 min read
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The Diverse Range of Chemical Elements
Photo by Vedrana Filipović on Unsplash

British spelling.

Please read in order.

Number 1

Number 2

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I’m an Oxygen Atom (O) With Atomic Number 8

I am made of 8 protons, 8 neutrons, and 8 electrons, and my state at room temperature is gas.

I have no colour, smell, or taste.

I need no introduction; you will know how important I am to almost all life on earth.

Nuclear fusion in the core of stars is the reason I exist. I was not around at the beginning of the universe.

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Nearly all living things need oxygen to turn food into energy; without oxygen, we and the billions of other organisms on Earth would not survive.

Today, the earth's atmosphere contains 21% oxygen, but before dinosaurs, plants, and humans, there was no oxygen in the air, just volcanic gases such as carbon dioxide.

We can thank microscopic life for the oxygen that exists at this time.

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I'm a Fluorine Atom (F) With Atomic Number 9

I have nine electrons surrounding my nucleus, which contains nine protons and ten neutrons.

At room temperature, my state is a toxic gas.

Most people will encounter me daily. I am in your drinking water and toothpaste to prevent tooth decay.

On our planet, I am relatively common but more scarce throughout the universe; my concentration in the universe is believed to be 400 parts per billion.

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Fluorine is rare in the universe because it's not the product of nuclear fusion processes in stars. It is believed that fluorine can be created in a few different ways.

One way is in a type II supernova when a massive star far larger than the sun ends its life in a massive explosion.

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I'm a Neon Atom (Ne) with Atomic Number 10

My nucleus comprises 10 protons and 10 neutrons, surrounded by 10 electrons.

At room temperature, my state is an odourless, tasteless gas.

You will probably know me best for my widespread use of neon signs and fluorescent lamps.

My discovery was made at the University College London in 1898.

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Neon is created in the core of stars more massive than our local star, the sun.

Internal pressure and high temperatures can fuse carbon atoms into neon atoms.

In normal conditions, neon gas is colourless. It takes an electric current travelling through the gas to produce the familiar reddish-orange colour.

Neon is the fifth most abundant element in the universe but is scarce in the earth's atmosphere, contributing only 18 parts per million.

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I'm a Sodium Atom (Na) With Atomic Number 11

11 electrons circle my nucleus which contains 11 protons and 12 neutrons.

I'm a soft, highly reactive metal at room temperature and the sixth most abundant element in the earth's crust. But here on earth, I'm part of compounds and have never been found alone.

My creation came about when two carbon atoms were fused; that carbon-burning process occurs in the core of stars, which are more massive than the sun.

You will know me best for being part of your table salt.

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A chemical compound is composed of two or more element types held together by chemical bonds.

Common salt is composed of the elements sodium and chloride.

Sodium compounds are used for many things, including preserving food, the chemical industry, baking, and making lamps.

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To be continued.

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We can only imagine what our early ancestors thought as they gazed up at the night sky—were they curious about what the heavens had to hide? 

Now it is very different, as we have developed sophisticated telescopes and other specialised scientific instruments that are helping to reveal some of the secrets the universe holds. 

The evolutionary path of life has been long, but at last, we have arrived. Our highly developed brain has given us intelligence and curiosity; now we can try to understand the reason for our existence.

Here are a few of my easy-to-understand stories regarding the universe and life. Enjoy.

humanityspacescienceevolutionastronomy
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About the Creator

Unravelling the Universe

We can only imagine what our early ancestors thought as they gazed up at the night sky—were they curious about what the heavens had to hide? 

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  • Ameer Bibi2 months ago

    Your positivity is infectious, uplifting everyone around you, and your passion is contagious, fueling your unwavering dedication to pursue your dreams.

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