What are the symbols of elements

What is an element symbol? Definition ...

Every chemical element in the periodic table has an abbreviation officially defined by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The purpose is to facilitate communication among chemists across national borders. Because in different countries chemical elements sometimes have very different names. An officially recognized system has the advantage that it avoids possible misunderstandings in advance.

The Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius started defining element abbreviations in the early 19th century. The abbreviations are always derived from the Greek or Latin name of the element. For this reason there are abbreviations for a total of 16 elements that cannot be derived from the element name itself in the German language. These include: antimony (Sb = stibium), lead (Pb = plumbum), iron (Fe = ferrum), gold (Au = aurum), iodine (I = iodine), calcium (Ca = calcium), cobalt (Co = cobalt ), Carbon (C = carbon), copper (Cu = cuprum), mercury (Hg = hydrargyrum), oxygen (O = oxygenium), silver (Ag = argentum), nitrogen (N = nitrogenium), hydrogen (H = hydrogenium) , Bismuth (Bi = bismuth) and tin (Sn = stannum).

Berzelius began by defining one-word element symbols (e.g. B for boron). Since this was not enough, two-letter element symbols were also used in the following years for newly discovered elements (e.g. Th for thorium). Recently, three-letter element symbols have also found their way into the periodic table. However, only for provisionally named elements that are still waiting to be officially named. Currently this affects the four elements Ununtrium (Uut), Ununoctium (Uuo), Ununpentium (Uup) and Ununseptium (Uus).