1. An element is the building block from which configurations arise. It is defined in a relative sense, so trees might be the elements from which a forest emerges whereas limbs and leaves are elements from which a single tree emerges. The most basic, or "elementary" unit from which a configuration may arise can be viewed as a blob or a point, which is shapeless and is defined only by its position in space and time. See also part, attribute, dimension, and feature. (JRP, February 2007)
Note: an element is a component of a configuration that is more similar to a part than to a feature or a dimension. A part is generally a component that is limited spatially within the configuration, as with an arm being part of a body, or a bumper being part of a car. An attribute or feature is not generally spatially limited and so may refer to aspect of the entire configuration like size, color, and location.