An atom is the smallest particle of an element that may or may not exist independently; it contains chemical properties similar to those of the element. On the other hand, the molecule is composed of two more atoms held together by chemical bonds. Molecules can exist in the free state and can be further broken down into their component atoms. For example, the water molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded with one oxygen atom. The water molecule when split splits into the constituent atoms of hydrogen and oxygen.
|Definition||Fundamental unit of the compound.||Smallest particle of an element.|
|constituents||Atoms.||Subatomic particles like protons, neutrons and electrons.|
|Shape||Angular, linear or rectangular shape.||Spherical.|
What are molecules?
The molecule is the small unit of matter that always exists in the Free State. It is made up of two or more similar or different atoms. The formation of molecules involves the chemical bond between them. There are several types of bonds that result in the formation of molecules; Single, double, and triple bonds are the types through which atoms are held together chemically. Molecules can be further broken down into individual atoms. Although molecules are larger particles compared to atoms, they still cannot be seen with the naked eye. Scientific devices like magnifying microscopes are used to view molecules. Molecules are not simply units; they also describe the environment and the physical state of the object. Solids, which have absolute form, they are known to have very compact molecules, as there is not much room for the molecules to move freely. On the other hand, liquids have free spaces between molecules and are less tightly packed, resulting in the physical state where liquids can take the shape of any of the objects they are poured into. In the gaseous state, the molecules are free enough to float without colliding with each other. As we know, molecules are the combination of atoms; the misconception about the combination of identical and different atoms is always there. When identical atoms combine to form molecules, it is known as the molecule of an element. Contrary to this, when atoms of different elements combine to form freely existing molecules,
What are atoms?
Atoms are the smallest unit particles that may or may not exist independently; each of the atoms has similar properties in terms of its elements. It cannot be further broken down into subatomic particles. It will be relevant to mention here that atoms are the basic components of cells that are for living organisms; everything in this universe is made up of these atoms. The ratio in which atoms combine to form molecules is very important, just as the difference can give rise to different molecules. The simple variation in the number of atoms can give rise to completely different molecules. For example, two oxygen atoms combine to form the oxygen molecule, whereas when three oxygen atoms combine, ozone is formed. The atom cannot be seen through a microscope or with the naked eye; it is so small that it cannot be subdivided into its component particles. The nucleus is the central part of the atom that has the protons and neutrons in the middle of an atom. Protons carry a positive charge, while neutrons carry no charge. The electron is the other important particle of the atom that is negatively charged and revolves around the nucleus of the atom. Protons and neutrons are made up of components such as quarks and gluons, which do not have much description in Chemistry. and revolves around the nucleus of the atom. Protons and neutrons are made up of components such as quarks and gluons, which do not have much description in Chemistry. and revolves around the nucleus of the atom. Protons and neutrons are made up of components such as quarks and gluons,
Molecules vs Atoms
- The atom is the smallest particle of an element that may or may not exist independently. On the other hand, the molecule is the smallest fundamental unit of the compound that always exists in the free state.
- The atom is made up of subatomic particles such as neutrons, protons, and electrons. Contrary to this, the molecule comprises two or more than two atoms.
- The atom is spherical in shape, while molecules exist in angular, linear, or rectangular shapes.
- Molecules form after chemical bonding holds atoms together. The chemical bond can be of various types, single, double or triple bond.