Ahhhh, what is an element? A force of weather? Material of our Universe?
The simplest of all matter? The answer is "Yes to all." Elements are
the very things that make up the Universe as we know it. Although, we
are only accustomed to that which is in our own Earth and blows around in it. Elements are
the basic building units. They can't be broken down into anything less than little element parts. Parts are listed on this page
If we wanted to make a basic ham and cheese sandwich, we would pull out a list of ingredients that will combine to make the ham and cheese sandwich.
Bread, ham, and cheese is a fine start. All of those ingredients are basic. If we broke bread, ham, and cheese down into smaller parts, they would not be
bread, ham, and cheese anymore. They would be something different. Just like the ingredients of a ham and cheese sandwich, elements are described as similar.
Some examples of elements
are Hydrogen, Carbon and Oxygen.
Without getting into elements too deep, it is worth the mention to say that elements are different because of what they are made of and how much.
A single particle of an element is an
. Kind of like a bread crumb is to a slice of bread. Atoms are made of parts called
The "perfect" Hydrogen atom is made of 1
, 1 neutron
. Life happens and those particles change numbers, all except the protons. Fickle little suckers!
So for simplicity, I will mention only protons. Hydrogen has and keeps forever, 1 proton. Add another proton and you have a different element.
Two protons make up the voice changing element Helium. Three protons make up Lithium. Ongoing until you have classified each element by its proton number on a Periodic Table.
The number of protons in an atom is called the