Molecule and atom

The atom is the fundamental or basic unit of matter in the universe; molecule is the result of two or more atoms, so it can be said that molecules are made up of atoms.

AtomMolecule
DefinitionIt is the basic unit of matterTwo or more atoms linked by bonds
CompositionProtons, neutrons, and electronsTwo or more atoms
ExamplesAll the elements of the periodic table such as Hydrogen, Oxygen, Chlorine, Potassium, Carbon, among othersExamples of molecules are water H2O, molecular oxygen O2, glucose C6H12O6, carbon dioxide CO2, methane CH4, among others

What is an atom?

The atom is the smallest constituent unit of matter that has the properties of a chemical element. This means that if we take any chemical element it can be divided up to a certain limit, after which it will no longer present its own properties. Atom, in its etymology, means without division or caesura. With this we come to the conclusion that each solid, gas, liquid and plasma is made up of neutral or ionized atoms. Although atoms are microscopic and there is even a typicality of them, sometimes they can have small varieties: they are not totally defined.

The atom is composed of a central nucleus, made up of protons and neutrons (the first with a positive electrical charge and the second with a neutral). Both the proton and the neutron, which are perceived in different amounts, account for the vast majority of the atom’s mass, 99.94 percent. On the other hand, there is the electronic cloud, where there are electrons, negatively charged, which surround the same nucleus.

Examples of atoms

There are as many atoms as there are elements in the periodic table. For example, hydrogen is the simplest, lightest and most widespread atom in the universe (stars, for example, have hydrogen and helium and represent 75 percent of the visible matter in the universe), made up of a proton and an electron . It is the atomic number 1, so it is in the first place in the mentioned periodic table.

Another example is oxygen, vital for human beings to live and the number 8 on the periodic table. It is made up of 8 neutrons, 8 protons, and 8 electrons. Carbon, an element associated with all organic life, also has six protons and six neutrons in the nucleus, as well as six electrons in the electric cloud. The curious feature is that this element has four of these electrons in the outer shell, which is why it is called tetravalent: they can form bonds with other atoms and thus give rise to molecules.

Another important element in the universe is helium, number 2 on the periodic table, a noble and inert gas so old that it is believed to have emerged a few minutes after the bing bang. Its structure features two protons along with one or two neutrons, in addition to a two-electron orbit around the nucleus.

What is a molecule?

The molecule in chemistry is an electrically neutral and stable enough group of at least two atoms in a defined configuration. Simplifying, a molecule is the union of two or more atoms. In fact, the electrons that are in the outermost shell of an atom, bond, are covalent or of valence, which form the molecules.

Molecules, in general, are the smallest part with which a substance that has a stable and independent existence can present itself. Here it is important to remember that the molecules made up of two atoms are diatomic, for example, O2 (oxygen) or O3 (ozone). Likewise, as in the previous case, a molecule can be made up of several atoms of the same chemical element, but also of different elements, as in the case of water H2O.

Examples of molecules

Molecules are infinite in the universe, so a large number of examples can be given. For example, diatomic hydrogen H2, the simplest molecule of all. These are two hydrogen atoms joined by a covalent bond, where electrons are shared between the two atoms.

Water, an extremely important element in human life, is also another good example of a molecule, since it is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen (H2O). It can be found on earth both in liquid form, as well as gas and solid (what is known as vapor and ice).

For more complex examples there is glucose. The sugar molecule contains six carbon atoms, twelve hydrogen atoms, and six oxygen atoms (C6H12O6). This is a form of sugar that is found free in fruits and honey.

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