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Molecules vs Atoms

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Atoms, Molecules and Compounds are the main building block of matter

Atoms, Molecules and Compounds are the main building block of matter

Atoms vs Molecules

In chemistry, there are various terms to describe the structure of matter, such as B. Atom vs. Molecule. So what is the difference between atom and molecule? An atom is the smallest unit of matter that still has all the properties of its element, while a molecule is a structure that contains multiple atoms bonded together. The word atom comes from the Greek Atomos, which means indivisible. Atoms can no longer be broken down, but molecules can. In the following sections, these two types of materials are compared in more detail.

What is an atom?

Atoms are the smallest units of matter that still retain the properties of their element. There are three main subatomic particles that make up atoms:

Neutrons: subatomic neural particles that make up the nucleus.
Protons: positively charged subatomic particles that make up the nucleus.
Electrons: negatively charged subatomic particles that orbit around the nucleus.
The nucleus is the center of the atom and generally does not change during chemical reactions, with the exception of nuclear reactions. It is made up of equal parts protons and neutrons. The atomic number is equal to the number of protons and this number defines the element. Atomic mass is the sum of protons and neutrons.

Electrons are much smaller and orbit around the nucleus. Electrons are the subatomic particles involved in chemical reactions and are responsible for changing the charge of the atom. Any atom with a different number of electrons than protons is called an ion. Ions can be negative when the atom acquires an electron called an anion. Or ions can be positive if they lose an electron called a cation.

A carbon atom with protons in blue, neutrons in red, and electrons in black

A carbon atom with protons in blue, neutrons in red, and electrons in black

What is a molecule?

A molecule is made up of two or more atoms bonded together. How are atoms related to molecules? Atoms are the building blocks of molecules. Atoms come together by donating or sharing electrons and the resulting structure is called a molecule. Molecules are formed by chemical reactions in which electrons are lost or shared.

Water is a molecule made up of one oxygen atom, shown in red, and two hydrogen atoms, shown in white.

Water is a molecule made up of one oxygen atom, shown in red, and two hydrogen atoms, shown in white.

Examples of Atoms and Molecules

There are many examples of atoms and molecules. Here are some examples of atoms:

  • Oxygen atom
  • Hydrogen atom
  • Atom of nitrogen
  • Copper atom
  • Atom of sulfur
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Here are some examples of molecules:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Molecular oxygen
  • Waterfall
  • Ammonia
  • Glucose

What is the difference between atoms and molecules?

Atoms and molecules are related but different. The difference between atoms and molecules is that atoms are the smallest unit of matter and molecules are made up of multiple atoms. This is how atoms relate to molecules: Atoms form molecules.

Molecules and compounds are formed when two or more atoms come together. There are two main types of bonds, ionic bonds and covalent bonds. These bonds can be formed to create molecules and compounds, and they can also be broken to release individual atoms in a chemical reaction. Chemical reactions can occur naturally or they can be catalyzed by enzymes in living things to ensure they happen faster.

Atoms are the building blocks that make up everything around us. This includes the computer in front of you, the ground below you, the air you breathe, and the stars you see at night.

They are all made up of atoms. But what exactly are atoms?

Atoms are made up of three types of tiny particles. Protons (or positively charged particles) and neutrons (or uncharged particles) reside in the nucleus of an atom. Electrons (or negatively charged particles) reside outside the nucleus. There are 118 elements, or substances consisting of only one type of atom, in the periodic table, including hydrogen, carbon, lead, gold, lithium, oxygen, etc.

What distinguishes each element ?

It's the number of positively charged protons in the nucleus. These elements generally have the same number of negatively charged electrons orbiting the nucleus. Ions are atoms that have lost or gained electrons. The number of neutrons varies and is necessary to keep an atom stable.

Molecules, compounds and mixtures.

Atoms can join in groups and form a molecule. When the molecule contains atoms of different types bound together, we call it a compound. For example, water is made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded together and one oxygen atom.

Blends are created by combining multiple compounds. There are no chemical bonds or reactions involved in creating a blend. For example, if you take some water and mix it with an aromatic sachet, you will get a refreshing drink. But the molecules are actually dispersed from each other; no connection has occurred.

Ionic and covalent bonds

So how are bonds formed to create molecules and connections? There are actually two ways to form bonds between atoms: ionic bonds and covalent bonds.

Atoms, Molecules, Compounds

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