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Student Question

Secondary II • 1yr.


I'm not sure why not all atoms are molecules (and why molecules aren’t necessarily atoms)? Also, what is the difference between a molecule and a composite substance?



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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!

    To answer your first question: a molecule must be made up of 2 atoms or more. Not all atoms are molecules since there are single atoms. This fact remains true even though all molecules are made up of atoms.

    In answer to your second question: all composite substances are molecules, but not all molecules are composite substances. In fact, all molecules made up of two kinds of atoms or more are called composite substances. In short, molecules are groups of two or more atoms linked together (regardless of whether the atoms are of the same type or not), whereas composite substances are groups of two or more atoms bonded together in which there are at least two different types of atoms.

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