Difference between Atom and Molecule
We have studied about atoms, molecules, ions, cations, anions, and various other terms in our chemistry lectures. Chemistry is concerned with how the matter is produced. The substances, their properties, and reactions come under chemistry. These substances also include atoms and molecules. Now, you must be wondering what atoms and molecules are.
Atoms are defined as the smallest molecules that can be divided in order to form a chemical element. Atoms are very tiny and are present in solid, liquid, and gases. Atoms consist of electrons and nuclei. Further, the nucleus consists of neutrons and protons. It is interesting to note that the electrons present in the atoms are attracted by the protons present in nuclei through a strong electromagnetic force.
Now, with atoms comes the atomic number. The atomic number is defined as the protons present in the nucleus. The number of protons that are present in the chemical elements equals the atomic number. We have often seen that several chemicals have their atomic numbers. For instance, the atomic number of chlorine is 17, the atomic number of sodium 23, etc.
On the other hand, molecules are defined as the group of atoms that form several units so that the pure substances can be divided. These pure substances/ chemicals are able to maintain their chemical properties. A molecule is the smallest unit of a compound. Well, there are several points of contrast between atoms and molecules. So, let us discuss them.
So, these are some points of contrast regarding the molecules and atoms. Atoms are molecules that differ from one another in various aspects. Now, a question arises here, i.e., can atoms be considered as a molecule? Well, that is not true. Molecules are different from atoms. Atoms are small and are considered complex in nature. Therefore, we cannot call atoms and molecules as interdependent. They vary from each other.
As mentioned in the table, there are several types of molecules and atoms. So, let us discuss the significant kinds.
Types of Molecules
1. Diatomic Molecule: As the name suggests, a diatomic molecule comprises of two atoms. The atoms can be made up of the same or different elements. Examples of diatomic molecules include O2, CO, etc.
2. Heteronuclear Diatomic Molecule: Hetero-nuclear diatomic molecule is defined as the molecules consisting of two atoms having the same elements. There are seven elements included, namely:
These elements are found in every chemical bond and have a strong reactive nature.
3. Homo-nuclear Diatomic Molecules: In a homo-nuclear diatomic molecule, two atoms have different elements. These elements are chemically combined with one another. Examples of homo-nuclear diatomic molecules include:
So, these are the major types of molecules. Now, let us discuss the various types of atoms as well.
Types of Atoms
So, these are the significant kinds of atoms. Both atoms and molecules are tiny particles that help in the formation of a chemical element. Now, atoms and molecules possess some characteristics. So, let us look at them.
Characteristics of Atoms
Characteristics of Molecules
So, these are some of the characteristics of atoms and molecules. Atoms and molecules are the major components of an element. These chemical compounds consist of tiny atoms and molecules. Atoms consist of an atomic number, but molecules do not have such numbers. Thus, atoms and molecules differ in several aspects.