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Student Question

Secondary II • 1yr.


In my assignment I have to differentiate the atoms from molecules and the elements from compounds, but I can't do it. Can you explain to me how I can tell them apart?

Thank you so much!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 1yr.

    Thank you for your question😉

    First, an atom is the basic unit of matter, it is one of the smallest particles in matter. There are several types and they can be found in the periodic table. Examples of atoms would be a hydrogen atom or a carbon atom.

    When we talk about molecules, we are referring to a group of at least two atoms linked by chemical bonds. For example, NaCl is a molecule since it is composed of two atoms, sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl).

    Warning!! Molecules can be elements if the grouped atoms are the same or they can be a compound if the grouped atoms are different.

    For the example of NaCl, there are at least two atoms which are grouped together with chemical bonds and the atoms of the molecule are different.

    An example of elements would be dihydrogen (H2) since there are at least two chemically bonded atoms and they are the same. They are two hydrogen atoms.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions ! 😊