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Chemical Symbols


There is no particular order or sequence of deducing the symbols of the known elements. Some elements have their symbols as the first letter (in capital) of their English names, e.g. oxygen is represented as O, hydrogen as H and nitrogen as N.

Some are represented by combining the first letter (in capital) and another (in small letter) of their names, e.g. chlorine - Cl, calcium - Ca and cesium – Cs. Others derive their symbols from their Latin names. Example, copper (Latin name cuprum) – Cu; iron (Latin name ferrum) – Fe; lead (Latin name plumbium) – Pb; silver (Latin name argentum) – Ag; gold (Latin name aurum) – Au; mercury (Latin name hydragyrum) – Hg ; sodium (Latin name, natrium) - Na; and potassium (Latin name kalium) - K

Note: as a chemistry student, it is extremely important for you to get familiar with elements and their symbols. The periodic table consist of symbols of the known elements.  

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