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Molecules and Compounds

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Atoms and molecules are responsible for the formation of microscopic sand particles, massive black holes, and everything in between. The atom is the most basic unit of matter, comprising everything we see around us. It is extremely small, measuring between 0.1 and 0.5 nanometers. 

Molecules are made up of one or more atoms that are held together by covalent bonds. Atoms can be represented as circle shapes with a nucleus in the centre, surrounded by one or more concentric circles representing the shells in which the electrons surrounding the nucleus of the atom are located, and markings indicating the electron. 

At each level. A molecule is the smallest unit of measurement that a substance can be divided into while still remaining the same substance. It is made up of two or more atoms that are chemically bonded together.

What are the Forces existing between Atoms and Molecules?

The most basic forces between atoms are those caused by electron transfer. For example, sodium fluoride. The nuclear charge of sodium is +11, with 2 electrons in the K shell, 8 in the L shell, and 1 in the M shell. The nuclear charge of the fluorine atom is 9, with 2 electrons in the K shell and 7 in the L shell.

The sodium atom’s outermost electron can easily transfer to the fluorine atom, giving both atoms a complete shell, but the sodium now has a net charge of +1 and the fluorine a net charge of -1. As a result, these ions are attracted to one another via direct coulombic interaction. The force between them is strong, varying as x-2, where x is the distance between the ions, and acting in the direction of the line connecting the ions.

Molecules of Elements

Elements are fundamental substances made up of a single type of atom. Furthermore, elements are made up of smaller particles that can be synthetic or man-made. 

The periodic table’s element arrangement is determined by the number of protons counted in ascending order. Also, when atoms in an element with the same number of protons are arranged differently, different versions of that element result. 

For example- 

Both diamond and graphite are carbon elements, but they have very different appearances.

Molecules of Compounds

Remember that water’s chemical formula is H2O. Water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom in this note. When two different elements combine, a new substance known as water is formed. 

As a result, Compounds are substances formed by the combination of two or more types of elements.

Atoms in a compound are chemically connected and thus cannot be easily separated. Similarly, carbon dioxide has the chemical formula CO2 and is made up of two elements: carbon and oxygen. Table salt (NaCl), chalk (CaCO3), and water are some other examples of compounds (H2O).

Difference Between a Compound and Molecule

  • A compound is a substance composed of two or more distinct elements. Compounds include table salt (NaCl), water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and others. 
  • Because each of these contains more than one type of element, they are referred to as compounds. Nitrogen gas (N2) and buckminsterfullerene cannot be classified as compounds. This is due to the fact that they only contain a single type of element. 
  • To be precise, something that is a molecule does not depend on the type of bond formed when atoms come together.
  • Electrons can be shared between atoms, or they can be completely removed from one atom and transferred to another. Keep in mind that molecules have molecular bonds. 
  • Because the bond formed between the nitrogen atoms represents the molecular bond, N2 can be viewed as a molecule. 
  • Water is a molecular compound because it is a substance made up of multiple elements held together by molecular bonds. 
  • Furthermore, Salt (NaCl) resembles an ionic compound because it is composed of multiple elements held together by ionic bonds.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What happens when atoms combine to form molecules?


Chemical bonds hold atoms together as they combine to form molecules. These bonds form as a result of the atoms sharing or exchanging electrons. Only the electrons in the outermost shell are ever active in bonding.

Question 2: Can a molecule have one atom?


The most basic definition of a molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds. So, no, a molecule cannot be formed from a single atom by nature.

Question 3: Using an example, explain the difference between a molecular formula and an empirical formula.


The empirical formula is the most basic formula for any compound. The molecular formula, on the other hand, can be counted as a multiple of the empirical formula. It is based on the precise number of atoms present in the compound for each type. For example, if the compound’s empirical formula is C3H8, its molecular formula could be C3H8, C6H16, and so on.

Question 4: Why is water a molecular compound?


Water is a molecular compound because it is a substance made up of multiple elements held together by molecular bonds.

Question 5: What is a compound?


A compound is a substance composed of two or more distinct elements. Compounds include things like table salt, water, and carbon dioxide. These are referred to as compounds because they each contain more than one type of element..

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Last Updated : 26 Oct, 2021
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