Chemical symbols

Each element is represented by its own chemical symbol. A chemical symbol:

  • consists of one or two letters
  • always starts with a capital letter, with any other letter in lower case

For example, the element mercury is shown as Hg. Do not show it as HG, hg or hG.

The periodic table shows the names and symbols of the elements. Elements are arranged into groups that share similar characteristics. Groups are numbered from 1 to 7, then 0. Metals are found on the left and non-metals are found on the right.

Artwork of the Edexcel periodic table minus the numbers in the boxesEach box in the periodic table contains the chemical symbol for an element