List of possible properties attributed to one or more elements. This can include state variables, special properties or similar.

Radioactive element

Radioactivity is the property of unstable atomic nuclei to spontaneously emit ionizing radiation. The atomic nucleus transforms into another nucleus while emitting particles or changes its state while releasing energy.

Natural element

Natural elements refer to substances that occur naturally and are not manufactured or synthetically produced by humans.

Native element

Native refers to elements that occur naturally in pure form. This includes both precious metals, as well as noble gases and many non-metals.

Element in life processes

Elements occurring in living organisms. These include those that are necessary for life (bioelements), neutral elements and those that have a toxic effect.

Pure element

Pure elements (anisotopic element) exist on earth only in the form of a single stable or long-lived isotope. Their atoms have the same atomic mass and agree in all other properties.

Stable element

Stable elements are those that have at least one stable nuclide.

(classic) precious metal

Precious metals are metals that are corrosion resistant, i.e., chemically stable in natural environments under the influence of air and water.


The electrical conductivity of semiconductors lies between that of conductors and non-conductors. Their property of influencing electrical conductivity through doping is used in electrical engineering.

Light metal

Light metals are metals whose density is less than 5.0 g/cm³. In the technical field, aluminum, magnesium and titanium are mainly used.

Heavy metal

Heavy metals refer to metals whose density is above 5.0 g/cm³. They occur in the rocks of the earth’s crust and are firmly bound there in ores as oxides, sulfides, carbonates and also enclosed in silicates.

Rare earths

Metals of the rare earths refer to chemical elements of the 3rd subgroup (with the exception of actinium) and the lanthanides. They are used because of their discrete energy spectrum as opposed to, for example, semiconductors.

Platinum metal

All platinum metals (also platinoids) are precious metals with high densities and similar chemical properties. They are by-products in the production of nickel and copper.

Refractory metal

Refractory metals refer to high-melting, base metals of the 4th to 6th subgroup, which are corrosion-resistant under standard conditions.

Unstable element

Unstable elements have no stable nuclides. Due to long half-lives, natural occurrences can still exist.

Synthetic element

Synthetic elements do not occur naturally. They are produced by human manipulation of elementary particles in a nuclear reactor, a particle accelerator or by the explosion of an atomic bomb.

Element of antiquity

In antiquity, the doctrine of the four elements earth, water, air, and fire prevailed. According to scientific definition, only ten elements were known at that time, which either occurred naturally or could be melted from ore.