The 100 plus
elements are the "alphabet" of matter because every tangible material
is a combinations of these elements.
are categorized as: Metals, Non-Metals, Metalloids, Noble Gases
categorization is based on the electrical attributes of the elements.
Some elements tend to "lose" an electron, and become postively
charged. (These are the metals), Other elements tend to "acquire"
an electron, and become negatively charged, (the non metals).
The third group, (metalloids), fall in between these two extremes.
And the Noble Gas category is "unelectrical" -- displays no interest
in either acquiring and losing an electron, but unlike the metalloids
who can be "persuaded" one way or the other -- the noble ones
simply don't engage.
reaction and chemical bonding are electrical in nature, it so
happens that members of a certain category can substitute for
another member and thereby create a combination which is slightly
different, but generally similar. Say then that by carefully chosing
a replacement element in a chemical compound, it is possible to
"engineer" a desired slight change in the nature of the compound.
This used to be the art, and now is the science of chemistry.