In chemistry, chemical symbol is the use of letters or symbols to represent chemical entities (atoms, molecules, or ions, etc.) using shorthand notation. [1] The basic example is the use of H to represent the element hydrogen.

In 1775, Torbern Bergman, in his 1775 A Dissertation on Elective Attractions, began to use of letters (a, b, ab, etc.) to represent chemicals in a generalized manner. [2]

The following are related quotes:

Chemical signs ought to be letters, for the greater facility of writing. I shall take therefore for the chemical sign, the initial letter of the Latin name of each elementary substance: but as several have the same initial letter, by writing the first two letters of the word.”
Jacob Berzelius (c.1810), Publication (Ѻ)

See also
Chemical symbol notation
Human molecular symbols

1. Licker, Mark. (2004). McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Chemistry. McGraw-Hill.
2. Bergman, Torbern. (1775). A Dissertation on Elective Attractions. London: Frank Cass & Co.

External links
Chemical symbol – Wikipedia.
Thermochemistry of Chemical Reactions: Terminology and Symbols – IUPAC.

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