Difference Between An Atom And A Molecule

Difference Between An Atom And A Molecule

What is an Atom?

Atom, the smallest unit that matter can be broken down into without releasing any electrically charged particles. Atoms are also the smallest unit of matter that exhibits the characteristic properties of an element. As such, the atom is the fundamental building block for chemistry.

Example: Ne, O

What is a Molecule?

A molecule can be defined as the combinations of two or more atoms which are held together by chemical bonds. A molecule is the smallest portion of a substance which showcases all the properties of the substance. On breaking down a molecule further, we see properties of the constituent elements.

Example: O2, HCl

Differences between Atoms & Molecules

Let us discuss the differences between atoms and molecules.

Atoms vs molecules

Factor Atoms Molecules
Definition Most fundamental and smallest part that can exist of an element. Two or more atoms chemically bonded together.
Example Oxygen – O

Phosphorus – P

Sulphur – S

Hydrogen – H

Oxygen – O2

Phosphorus – P4

Sulphur – S8

Water – H2O

Structure The smallest particle with properties of an element. Combination of two or more atoms.
Stability An atom may not always be stable in nature due to the presence of electrons in the outer shells. Molecules are formed to attain stability.
Constituent Elements Protons, Electrons & Neutrons Two or more atoms of the same or different elements
Reactivity Except for the noble elements, atoms of all elements showcase a certain level of reactivity. Compared to a molecule, the level of reactivity is less as some of the valence points are filled by electrons of combined elements.

Thus, here we have discussed about some of the difference between atoms and molecules. Keep visiting BYJU’S to learn more differences.


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  3. Anushkaa Banerjee

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  5. Sazid Shahriyar Roop

    Wow, Thank You For Explaining This! Highly Appreciated

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