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(a) What is the significance of the symbol of an element? Explain with the help of an example.
(b) Explain the significance of the symbol $H$.

Last updated date: 23rd May 2024
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Hint:An element symbol is a one or two letter abbreviation used to represent the name of an element. When a symbol has two letters in it, then the first letter is always a capital letter, while the second letter is a lowercase letter.

Complete answer:
A symbol of an element is used to represent an individual element or the atoms of the elements. They are generally used to represent elements in a chemical reaction. For example: The symbol $O$ represents one atom of the element oxygen. The symbol $C$ represents one atom of the element carbon. Symbol represents the definite mass of the element. It represents one mole of atom of the element. Consider the symbol of the element hydrogen $H$: It represents hydrogen as an element and it represents one atom of the element hydrogen. It represents one mole of hydrogen atoms and $2gms$ of hydrogen.

Chemical symbols refer to chemical elements only and it is not necessary that they should refer to atoms of that element, but also to ions. Chemical formulas refer to compounds and the ratios in which they are made up using different chemical elements. In the periodic table, each element is represented by its element symbol and atomic number. Most of the elements are represented by the first letter or first two letters but there are some exceptions too.
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