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What Is The Smallest Identifiable Unit Of A Compound ? The Smallest Identifiable Unit Of A Compound

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You may know that elements make up the air we breathe and the water we drink, but do you know more about them? What element is almost as light as hydrogen? What do you call a blend of two chemical elements? Find out the answers in this quiz.

Atoms consist of a single nucleus with a positive charge surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. When atoms approach one another closely, the electron clouds interact with each other and with the nuclei. If this interaction is such that the total energy of the system is lowered, then the atoms bond together to form a molecule. Thus, from a structural point of view, a molecule consists of an aggregation of atoms held together by valence forces. Diatomic molecules contain two atoms that are chemically bonded. If the two atoms are identical, as in, for example, the oxygen molecule (O2), they compose a homonuclear diatomic molecule, while if the atoms are different, as in the carbon monoxide molecule (CO), they make up a heteronuclear diatomic molecule. Molecules containing more than two atoms are termed polyatomic molecules, e.g., carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). Polymer molecules may contain many thousands of component atoms.

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Ionic bonding in sodium chloride. An atom of sodium (Na) donates one of its electrons to an atom of chlorine (Cl) in a chemical reaction, and the resulting positive ion (Na+) and negative ion (Cl−) form a stable ionic compound (sodium chloride; common table salt) based on this ionic bond.

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