Meet the Element Guys
I am a very friendly guy -- I combine with most other elements. There are over 10 million different chemical compounds made with me, in fact, there are more carbon compounds than non-carbon compounds. I am the basis for all life on Earth -- without me, you couldn't exist. I am in all of the food you eat. About 20% of your weight is carbon. I am the second most abundant element in your body, after oxygen.
I am very flexible as I can form several different types of bonds with atoms, taking different forms and combining with many other elements. In pure forms I can be a shiny diamonds or dreary as charcoal and practical graphite.
You will always see me with a smile on my face because I get along with everyone and make you YOU.
I am #1! I am the first element in the periodic table. I have earned this first position because I am the lightest element and I have only one electron. I am also #1 because I am the most abundant element in the Universe.
I am very powerful -- I am the fuel of stars. The sun, the star closest to Earth, converts me into helium and makes the brilliant light of the sun that you see and feel. The sun uses six hundred million tons of hydrogen per second converting it into ninety-six million tons of helium.
I am bright yellow like the sun because I am named for the Greek god Helios. As you can see from my crown, I am a Noble Gas. As royalty, I don't mix with the lesser elements. In fact, I am the first noble gas on the periodic table. (The other members of the noble family are Neon (Ne), Argon (Ar), Krypton (Kr), Xenon (Xe) and Radon (Rn)). Like all Noble Gases, I am inert meaning that I have no color, taste or smell.
I like to think of myself as special, because in addition to being a Noble Gas, I have some unique characteristics. I am the 2nd most abundant element in the universe. I make balloons float because I am lighter than air. I am very stable and dependable because I do not easily change. I am not flammable. I have been around a long time as most of the Helium that is in the Universe was created at the time of the Big Bang.
I am very techy - computers love me! I make your laptop, iPad, iPod and cell phone work because computer chips are made out of me. I am so important, there is even a place in California named after me, Silicon Valley.
I am the second most abundant element on Earth. I am all over the ground that you walk on. You can find me in sand, quartz and other minerals. Long before computer chips were invented (in 1961 by the way), I was used to make glass.
You can't see me, you can't smell me, you can't taste me, but all of a sudden I go boom! I am quiet and stealthy, but when I want to, boy can I be reactive. I have extremely strong bonds that are difficult to break. But when they are broken, a lot of energy is released.
My bonds are very strong so I am usually bonded to my twin, another Nitrogen atom, through a triple covalent bond. Together, we are represented as N2. I don't like to be separated from my twin, if our bond is broken, there goes an explosion.
I am everywhere. I am the 7th most abundant element in the Universe. The air you breathe is made up of 78% Nitrogen. Your body is 3% Nitrogen. I am found in chlorophyll, DNA and protein. I am used in fertilizer and absorbed and converted by plants into food.
My boiling point is very, very low at -196 degrees Celsius. In liquid form, I am cold enough to freeze almost anything. As liquid nitrogen, chefs use me to quickly freeze ice cream. In manufacturing, my liquid form is used as a coolant for computers.
You don't notice me but I am everywhere. I am in the air you breathe and the water you drink. I also can keep you warm. I always have a smile on my face and bubbly personality because I am happy to be such an important part of your life.
I make up 22% of the air humans breathe and am I the most important component of air for humans. When you breathe in air, your bloodstream carries me to all of your cells. Each and every human cell needs oxygen to stay alive.
I am also an important part of the water you drink. I combine with Hydrogen to make water as represented by the chemical formula H2O.
When you see a flame, think of me. Fire is the mix of three components: a fuel material, like wood; heat, such as a spark; and oxygen. The flame you see is the mixture of the reacting gasses and solids.
I am the most abundant element on Earth. 50% of the weight of the Earth's crust is made up of me. 86% of the weight of the oceans is Oxygen. I am 66% of your body.