Clueless about Chemistry?

What is Chemistry?

Chemistry is the magic and science of how different substances interact with each other...  

Chemistry is about understanding whether these elements fight and explode or join hands and become friends…

Chemistry is about finding out whether they create a more powerful material or do they avoid each other...

Chemistry is about learning if they react explosively and create fire or break apart and release tremendous amounts of energy...

Chemistry is about very interesting sweet smells and stink...

All this cool stuff is chemistry!

You are not a geek if you like chemistry. Really. If people do end up calling you a geek or a nerd because you love chemistry, don't worry; those people are going to end up working for you at the end!  And doing what you love to do is just cool!

Anyhow, Elementeo is a game of action and reaction. It takes elements and compounds of the world and separates them into 2 armies. And YOU control what happens next!

Atoms

Atoms are some of the smallest particles and the coolest things on earth with whizzing electrons.  Atoms are everywhere, in your shirt, you hair, and in the water that you drink. Although they are impossible to see with the naked eye, what you see as water are really billions of trillions of water molecules (atoms put together).

An atom is made up of a dense sphere called the nucleus and super lightweight electrons that revolve around the nucleus. The nucleus is made up of protons (of positive charge) and neutrons (of neutral charge). The electrons that are revolving around the nucleus have a negative charge. There are many electrons in one atom and are typically the same as the number of protons. 

Electrons are involved in making bonds between elements. Cool reactions, explosions, and fires happen when bonds are either made or broken apart.

Elements and Compounds

All elements such as oxygen or gold are made of atoms with different number of electrons, protons, and neutrons.  Every element has unique properties that you will learn about while playing the Elementeo game. Some elements can bend, some are hard, some are liquid, some are extremely light, some conduct electricity, and some can explode when mixed with water!

 

There are many different families (in Elementeo we call them as the tribe) of elements such as:

  • Alkali metals: they react explosively and are quite soft
  • Alkali earth metals include calcium that is in your bones
  • Transition metals are shiny and they conduct electricity
  • Metalloids are semi-conductors used in all computer chips
  • Non-metals include oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon
  • Halogens include fluorine that you have in toothpaste
  • Noble gases include neon (used in lights), and helium (used in balloons)

Certain elements can also be put together to make compounds. We see lot more compounds than elements in our daily lives. Without one compound we would not even be able to live -- and that compound is water (made from oxygen and hydrogen). Other compounds include salt that is made from sodium and chlorine. And we all know about carbon dioxide, propane, PVC pipe, steel, etc.

 

In Elementeo, one easy way to win is to make compounds.

Oxidation State

Around an atom's nucleus are many orbiting electrons. Their orbit path is called a shell. In the first shell, there is space for 2 electrons, in the next 8, in the next 8, then 18, and 18, and 18... 

Atoms like to be stable with enough friends. The number of friends increase as you grow older. At first, it needs only 2 electrons (friends) in the first shell, 8 in the next, 8 in the next, and so on.

Not only are we humans not perfect, the same is true with atoms -- most have one or two more or less electrons than what can fit in their outermost shell. So instead of having 8 in the second shell, it could have 6 in the second shell (as is the case with Oxygen). Or instead of having 2 in the first shell, it only could have 1 (as is the case with Hydrogen).

The atomic number of an atom is equal to the number of electrons it has, and you can easily find out how many electrons are missing or extra for that atom to be stable.  For example, the atomic number of the oxygen element is 8. It has enough for the first shell (2), so that leaves 6 electrons. It doesn't have enough for the second shell, which needs 8. This means that oxygen needs 2 more to be stable. That number is oxygen's oxidation state. Since it needs 2, oxygen is said to have an oxidation state of negative 2.  If some element such as Sodium can give away an electron from its outermost shell, it is said to have an oxidation state of positive 1.

Now, where is oxygen supposed to get the electrons from? Well, electrons aren't sold at the supermarket.  Lets assume that you, an oxygen atom, are in need of two electrons, and you are walking down the street. Suddenly you spot a hydrogen atom, which can give you one electron as it has only one electron in its outermost shell. You decide to walk with that hydrogen atom down the street, but you are still looking for one more electron. You find another hydrogen atom, which also has one extra electron. Together they can give two, and you need two. Done, and all elements are stable now!

When atoms come together like this, they end up creating a compound. Two hydrogens and one oxygen creates water!

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