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An element is made up of one kind of atom and cannot be broken down into any simpler substance chemically. To break down an element would take much more sophisticated means. This would break the element down into subatomic particles.

Elements have both physical and chemical properties. Physical properties of elements are color, density (how thick the element is), how much it might conduct electricity and heat as well as the boiling and melting points.

Elements are often classified by these properties into groups called families. One set of groupings is whether the elements are metals, non-metals or metalloids. Other groups include the inert gases, halogens, and alkali metals.

All the elements are arranged on the Periodic Table of the Elements, starting with those with the smallest atomic weights to those with the largest. They are also arranged in columns within the table with those having similar properties being in the same column.

Each element has its own symbol consisting of one or two letters.

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