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Generally, an element is a basic part that is the foundation of something.
- For a long time, elements (classical element) were believed (by the Pythagoreans and alchemists for example) to be the building blocks of all matter in the universe. Similarly, Chinese Taoism holds that the universe is based around Five Elements. For ritual purposes the neopagan religion of Wicca generally utilizes the classical elements, including the fifth, spirit (akasha).
- In chemistry, an element (chemical element) is material that consists of atoms with the same number of protons in the nucleus (see also: Periodic table).
- In electronics, an element (electrical element) is any device (such as an inductor, resistor, capacitor, conductor, line, or cathode ray tube) with terminals at which it may be connected directly with other devices. It can also mean an antenna radiator (either parasitic or active). In circuitry, it can be used to specify a portion of an integrated circuit that contributes directly to the IC's operation.
- In Morse code, an element is the dot or dash.
- In mathematics, an element is a member of a set or class.
- In XML, an element is a particular kind of grammatical fragment of an xml document. See W3C's Logical Structures (external link).
- The mathematical treatise, Elements (Euclid's Elements) is a mathematical treatise on geometry by Euclid.
- "The Elements" is a song by Tom Lehrer.
Element Skateboards is a skateboard manufacturer and endorses professional skaters.
Honda Element is a SUV.
The word element comes from the Latin word elementum meaning "the basic parts that are the foundations of something". The development of this word in Latin was heavily influenced by the Greek word στοιχεῖον (stoicheion), the exact roots of which is unknown.
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46