10 Basic Chemistry Facts

Fun and Interesting Chemistry Facts

An important chemistry fact is that most of the universe is made from the element hydrogen.
An important chemistry fact is that most of the universe is made from the element hydrogen. Hubble Space Telescope, photo PR96-27B

This is a collection of 10 fun and interesting basic chemistry facts.

  1. Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the interactions between them. It is a physical science that is closely related to physics, which often shares the same definition.
  2. Chemistry traces its roots back to the ancient study of alchemy. Chemistry and alchemy are separate now, though alchemy still is practiced today.
  3. All matter is made up of the chemical elements, which are distinguished from each other by the numbers of protons they possess.
  4. The chemical elements are organized in order of increasing atomic number into the periodic table. The first element in the periodic table is hydrogen.
  5. Each element in the periodic table has a one or two-letter symbol. The only letter in the English alphabet not used on the periodic table is J. The letter q only appears in the symbol for the placeholder name for element 114, ununquadium, which has the symbol Uuq. When element 114 is officially discovered, it will be given a new name.
  6. At room temperature, there are only two liquid elements. These are bromine and mercury.
  1. The IUPAC name for water, H2O, is dihydrogen monoxide.
  2. Most elements are metals and most metals are silver-colored or gray. The only non-silver metals are gold and copper.
  3. The discoverer of an element may give it a name. There are elements named for people (Mendelevium, Einsteinium), places (Californium, Americium) and other things.
  4. Although you may consider gold to be rare, there is enough gold in the Earth's crust to cover the land surface of the planet knee-deep.