Elements

    The elements of interest to the R&D team of AscenTrust are:

    • Helium
    • Carbon
    • Oxygen
    • Thorium
    • Uranium
    • Plutonium

    Preamble
    A chemical element is a pure substance consisting of one type of atom distinguished by its atomic number, which is the number of protons in its nucleus. Elements are divided into metals, metalloids, and non-metals. Familiar examples of elements include carbon, oxygen, silicon, aluminium, iron, copper, gold, mercury, lead, thorium, uranium and plutonium.
    The properties of the chemical elements are often summarized using the periodic table that organizes the elements by increasing atomic number into rows in which the columns share recurring periodic physical and chemical properties.
    Hydrogen and helium are by far the most abundant elements in the universe. However, iron is the most abundant element (by mass) making up the Earth, and oxygen is the most common element in Earth’s crust

    When two or more distinct elements are chemically combined, with the atoms held together by chemical bonds, the result is termed a chemical compound. Two thirds of the chemical elements occur on Earth only as compounds, and in the remaining third, often the compound forms of the element are most common. Chemical compounds may be composed of elements combined in exact whole-number ratios of atoms, as in water, table salt, and minerals such as quartz, calcite, and some ores. However, chemical bonding of many types of elements results in crystalline solids and metallic alloys for which exact chemical formulas do not exist.

    Relatively pure samples of isolated elements are uncommon in nature. While all of the 98 naturally occurring elements have been identified in mineral samples from Earth’s crust, only a small minority of elements are found as recognizable, relatively pure minerals. Among the more common of such “native elements” are copper, silver, gold, carbon (as coal, graphite, graphine or diamonds), sulfur, and mercury. All but a few of the most inert elements, such as noble gases and noble metals, are usually found on Earth in chemically combined form, as chemical compounds. While about 32 of the chemical elements occur on Earth in native uncombined form, most of these occur as mixtures. For example, atmospheric air is primarily a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, and native solid elements occur in alloys, such as that of iron and nickel.

    As of November 2011, 118 elements have been identified. Of the 118 known elements, only the first 98 are known to occur naturally on Earth; 80 of them are stable, while the others are radioactive, decaying into lighter elements over various timescales from fractions of a second to billions of years.