Science is all about order, and to keep it simple, we have thousands of different terminologies. Sometimes molecule vs. compound gets confusing; that’s why I have chosen this topic to elaborate on the difference between molecule and compound.
Compounds and molecules are related to each other because all compounds are molecules. However, the difference between molecule and compound is not all molecules are compounds.
To understand molecules and compounds, it is important to know about the atom.
Atom is a particle of matter that defines a chemical element. An atom consists of a nucleus of positively charged protons, electrically neutral neutrons, and a negatively charged electron. Molecules and compounds are made up of atoms chemically bonded together through ionic bonding, covalent bonding, and metallic bonding.
A Molecule is a particle or a substance made up of two or more atoms of the same or different groups of chemically bonded atoms.
Molecules may be simple or complex. Some common examples of molecules are
- Water (H2O)
- Nitrogen (N2)
- Ozone (O3)
- Calcium oxide (CaO)
- Glucose (a type of sugar) C6H12O6
- Sodium chloride (table salt) NaCl
- Hydrochloric acid (HCL)
Single atoms are not molecules such as oxygen (O2), Hydrogen (H2).
There are three types of molecules such as element molecule, compound molecule, and mixture molecule.
Element molecule: Difference between molecule and compound
The element molecules are made up of similar atoms that combine. The element molecule formed of one atom call monatomic molecules such as solid (iron, copper, sulfur, and carbon), liquid (mercury), and noble gasses like (helium, neon, and radon).
Element molecules formed of two atoms are diatomic molecules, such as liquid (bromine) and active gases (oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen). Molecule of active gasses are diatomic, and molecules of inert- gasses are monoatomic.
The compound molecule comprises different atoms, such as sodium chloride NaCl and ammonia molecule. Compound molecules can break down into simpler atoms chemically, not physically.
The mixture molecule is made up of two or more different compounds that are physically united. These molecules can separate into their components by physical means.
Most individuals find it hard when they are asked to describe a compound. Many of them get confused about the terms and start explaining molecules instead of compounds. Therefore, it is important to explain what a compound is. In most simple words, a compound is a mixture of two or more two elements that chemically attach.
Example of Compound
There are hundreds of examples available that can use to explain compounds, but we prefer the example from daily life. For instance, almost every one of us has some idea about carbon dioxide. The formula of carbon dioxide is CO2, which clearly explains that this is a mixture of carbon and oxygen.
Molecules and compounds are two of the most used terms. Especially in the educational and chemical labs. The molecule is a combination of two atoms. On the other hand. A compound is a combination of two or more elements. The mentioned above information will help you in understanding. The difference between both the terms comprehensively.
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