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Secondary II • 1yr.

How do you know if a particle is an atom or a molecule?I'm not sure I understand...

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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

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

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    Team Alloprof • 1yr.

    Thank you for your question!

    Atoms are distinguished from molecules by the following criteria:

    • The atom is the smallest division of matter, whereas molecules are made up of several atoms.

    • The chemical formulas of atoms can be found in the periodic table. The chemical formulas of molecules cannot be found in the periodic table.

    • Since an atom is made up of a single element, there is only one capital letter in its chemical formula. Since a molecule is made up of a single element, there may be more than one capital letter in its chemical formula. Many molecules have more than one capital letter in their chemical formula.

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