A chemical symbol is an abbreviation or short representation of the name of a chemical element. Natural elements all have symbols of one or two letters; some man-made elements have temporary symbols of three letters.
Because chemical symbols are often derived from the Latin or Greek name of the element, they may not bear much similar to the common English name, e.g., Na for sodium (Latin natrium) and Au for gold (Latin aurum).
A chemicalelement, often called simply element, is the class of atoms which contain the same number of protons.
The atomic mass of an element, A, is measured in unified atomic mass units (u) is the average mass of all the atoms of the element in an environment of interest (usually the earth's crust and atmosphere).
The 23 elements not found on earth are derived artificially; the first purportedly synthesized element was technetium, in 1937, although the trace amounts of naturally occurring technetium were not known then.
Because chemicalsymbols are often derived from the Latin or Greek name of the element, they may not bear much similar to the common English name, e.g., Na for sodium (Latin natrium) and Au for gold (Latin aurum).
In China, each chemicalelement is assigned an ideograph as its symbol; most of them have been explicitly created for this purpose (see Chinese characters for chemicalelements).
Chemicalsymbols may also be changed to show if one particular isotope of an atom that is specified, as well as to show other attributes such as ionization and oxidation state of a chemical compound.
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