Elements are everything

Elements are everything

Elements are the building blocks of everything, including our DNA and proteins. The elements are represented on the periodic table. Common atoms used in the stuff in our body are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogren. Also used are sulfur, phosphoryus, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium.

Elements can build into “stuff” by connecting at the atomic level and building up. An atom isn’t really the smallest kind of particle, but it is the smallest unit of matter that has a definably unique identity. This uniqueness comes in the number of protons, or positively charge particles in the atom.  Atoms also have neutrons (particles with no charge) and electrons (particles with negative charge). Neutrons and protons exist in the center, or what we call the nucleus, of the atom, and the electrons exist in a “cloud” around the nucleus. The number of protons an atom has determines what element we identify it as. For example, the atomic number of carbon is 12, which means that carbon has 12 protons.

Once these atoms start to “build up,” we call it a molecule. We call molecules from our body, such as DNA and proteins, biological molecules. DNA and proteins are both huge kinds of molecules, and are often called biological macromolecules.


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