27 No. 5
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Simples and Compounds:Another Opinion
by Tomislav Portada and Vladimir Stilinovic
Although we do agree with Giomini et al. about the necessity of making a clear-cut distinction between elements and elementary substances,1 in our opinion it is superfluous to introduce new terms for these concepts. We believe that the problem originates in the current IUPAC definition of “chemical element.”2 We suggest limiting the definition of chemical element to “A species of atoms; all atoms with the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus.”
We also suggest introducing “elementary substance” as a separate term defined as “A pure chemical substance composed of atoms of the same element.” The current problems would be circumvented by using these terms strictly according to the above-suggested definitions.
1 C. Giomini, M.E. Cardinali, and L. Cardellini,
2005 (1), 18.
Compendium of Chemical Terminology (The Gold
Book), 2nd edition, Blackwell Science, 1997.
Tomislav Portada <firstname.lastname@example.org> is a research assistant in the Laboratory of Supramolecular and Nucleoside Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ruder Boškovic Institute, in Zagreb, Croatia. Vladimir Stilinovic is a Ph. D. student from the Faculty of Science of the University of Zagreb.
last modified 30 August 2005.
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