From Latin simbŏlum, a symbol It is a representation of an idea whose features are linked to a social and arbitrary convention. These characteristics differentiate it from icon (which replaces the object by similarity) and index (which substitutes for causality).
In Arabic it is, however, where the etymological origin of the chemical word is found. More specifically it comes from the word kimiyá which was used to refer to the philosopher's stone. This establishes that the same root is what gave rise to the establishment of the term alchemy.
The chemistry , for its part, is the science that analyzes the matter , studying its characteristics, structure and composition. The changes that matter develops during the so-called chemical reactions They are also part of your object of study.
A chemical symbol is a abbreviated sign that allows to recognize a compound or a chemical element , without the need to use its full denomination. For example: the chemical symbol of oxygen is OR , the chemical symbol of hydrogen is H and the chemical symbol of carbon is C .
A large part of the chemical symbols come from the Greek letters corresponding to the name of the element in Latin. Others derive from the name in French, English, Russian or German. The letter that starts the chemical symbol is specified in uppercase, while the second (in which cases it is used) is written in lower case.
Among the chemical symbols that have more than one letter, they appear A.M (americium ), Ba (barium ), CD (cadmium ), Fr (France ), Hf (hafnium ) and You (osmium ), among others.
However, we must not forget that the use of symbols to represent the various elements and components of chemistry was already an activity that was carried out in ancient times. An era in which the same task was also used to identify the products used in the aforementioned alchemy.
Thus, we find, for example, the fact that the ancient Egyptians, as the French scholar Berthelot made known in the 19th century, recorded their symbols in the aforementioned hieroglyphs. In this way, in these documents you can discover the graphic representations that identify elements such as gold, iron, silver or copper. Specifically these were represented by the Sun, the planet Mars, the Moon or the Planet Venus respectively.
Aluminum, arsenic, beryllium, carbon, calcium, cobalt or hydrogen are other chemical elements than the Egyptians, and also the Greeks, represented in their documents by various symbols. And it has been demonstrated by various scientists and historians who in recent centuries have devoted themselves to thoroughly study the aforementioned. Among the students of this subject we must highlight the Englishman John Dalton.
It is usual for the symbol to represent a atom of the element although, when the atom has a fixed mass, the symbols represent the molar mass of the element (mol ). In addition to their function in the abbreviation, chemical symbols are used in equations and formulas to mention a constant relative amount of the element.