What is an Atom?
An atom can be defined as the smallest constituent particle of an element which showcases independent existence.
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
|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||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.