How It Works Book of the Elements
Elements, compounds and mixtures Most familiar substances are mixtures or compounds. Wood, steel, air, salt, concrete, skin, water, plastics, glass, wax â€“ these are all mixtures or compounds, made up of more than one element. We do encounter elements in our everyday life, albeit not completely pure. Gold and silver are good examples; and even in the purest sample of gold ever produced, one in every million atoms was an atom of an element other than gold. Copper (pipes), iron (railings), aluminium (foil) and carbon (as diamond) are further examples of elements we encounter in their fairly pure state. Some other elements are familiar simply because they are so important or commonplace. Oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, calcium, sodium, lead â€“ these are all examples of such elements.
This book will explore the properties of all the elements. The properties of an element include its chemical behaviours â€“ in other words, how its atoms interact with atoms of other elements. So for each element, we will also look at some important compounds and mixtures that contain it. Please read! Sometimes, it makes little practical difference whether you read a bookâ€™s introduction or not. But that is not the case here. This introduction contains crucial information that will enable you to understand the organization of this book and the information it contains. It will also help you appreciate the complex beauty of the world â€“ and how all of it can be explained by the interactions between only three types of particle: protons, neutrons and electrons. For it is a mind-boggling truth that from the core of our planet to the distant stars, all matter â€“ be it solid, liquid, gas or plasma â€“ is made of different combinations of just these three particles
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