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What's the Difference between an Atom and a Molecule?

What's the Difference between an Atom and a Molecule?

what

's the

difference

between an

atom

and a

molecule

if you're wondering this you're definitely not alone because this is such a common question in chemistry so the short answer is

atom

s are like Legos or blocks or bricks and

molecule

s are like this stuff that we actually build with those blocks of bricks that's a short answer let me give you a longer answer that might be more useful so let's start by talking a little bit about

atom

s there are a few important parts of that an

atom

has a nucleus which is made up of protons and neutrons that's

what

I've drawn here with little dots and then around the nucleus of the

atom

that's where electrons live and electrons live in these circular neighborhoods called energy levels and so I'm drawing in the electrons here with these black dots many

atom

s have more than one energy level so they have these rings kind of around the nucleus like this with these electrons ok so here's one

atom

let me draw another out here's a proton here's a neutron this Anjelica have one proton and then around the nucleus here's electron here's a here's an energy level where one electron lives ok so two

atom

s here so there are all sorts of different types of

atom

and the type of

atom

that you have depends on the number of protons in the nucleus this

atom

over here has eight protons in the nucleus which it which means it is an

atom

of oxygen this one over here only has one proton of nucleus which means...
what s the difference between an atom and a molecule
that it is an

atom

of hydrogen as I said there are all different kinds of

atom

s and they're actually about 100 different kinds and when we talk about them is usually easier than instead of like writing out the name every time we use abbreviations so we want to talk about oxygen we write an O for hydrogen there's an H we have carbon

atom

s represented by a see we have nitrogen

atom

s represented by an N chlorine with a CL fluorine with an F and so on and so forth all of these ABS all these types of

atom

s are all a little bit different I like to think about these like Lego blocks right there are all these different types of Lego blocks but they're all a little bit different there are different colors they're different sizes some are tall others are like flat and skinny and that's like these

atom

s that all have slightly different characteristics now the the different characteristics of these Lego blocks come in handy when we actually want to build something with them and then we're happy that you know one is really skinny or one is red or

what

ever and so that's where the different qualities of the

atom

s come into play we take these bricks and we build like a little house with and now we're talking about

molecule

s so we take these bricks and we snap them together we can do the same thing with

atom

s I can take an oxygen

atom

and snap it together with two hydrogen

atom

s and when I say snap it together I mean I physically connect it that's

what

...
what s the difference between an atom and a molecule
these little lines here represent and when I do that when I have one oxygen connected to two hydrogen's I have a

molecule

of water then I call it h2o because there are two hydrogen's and one oxygen or I can do this I can take a carbon

atom

and snap three hydrogen's to it attach another carbon with two hydrogen's and then an oxygen and then a hydrogen and I have a

molecule

called ethanol which is a kind of alcohol that's in beer and wine so the point is

molecule

s are made when we take individual

atom

s and physically combine them together to make stuff just the same way we take individual Lego blocks and snap them together to build houses or wherever you want to make and I'll even take this one step for it I show it at the beginning that if we could zoom in zillions and zillions of times this is

what

Nana would look if we took this water

molecule

and we could zoom in on in millions and millions of times this is

what

we'd see and we'd see the oxygen

atom

and the two hydrogen

atom

s and that they're actually all physically connected together they're physically connected because they're sharing electrons forming

what

's called covalent bond you don't already know that don't worry about it but they're connected here because they're sharing electrons and so now they've made like a physical connection between each other and they've made you know something that's like one of these these Lego houses where...
what s the difference between an atom and a molecule
everything gets snapped together so anyway that is the

difference

between

atom

s and

molecule

s

atom

s are like individual building blocks and

molecule

s are the stuff that we get when we take these building blocks and combine them connect them together