Atom vs Cell: Difference and Comparison

Atoms and cells are the fundamental units. The former is for a chemical element, the latter for biology.

Key Takeaways

  1. Atoms are the smallest unit of matter that retains the properties of an element, while cells are the basic unit of life.
  2. Atoms are indivisible, while cells can divide and replicate.
  3. Atoms do not have any specific functions, while cells perform specific functions.

Atom vs. Cell

Atoms make up molecules whereas Cells are made up of macro molecules such as protein, carbohydrates, lipid, and nucleic acid. In nature, an Atom is a chemical unit while a Cell is a biological unit. Atoms occur anywhere except in a vacuum, while Cells occurs in living organisms.

Atom vs Cell

This whole universe is made of atoms coming together. Solid, gas, liquid, everything is made by atoms.

We are made of cells. Cells come together and make tissues, and tissues make organs. It takes trillions of cells to make a human body.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAtomCell
DefinitionAtom is the smallest part of a chemical element.Cells are the smallest unit of any living beings.
Importance Atoms are known as “building blocks of matter.”Cells are known as building blocks of living entities.
FunctionAtoms take part in every chemical reaction.Cells are responsible for the development and growth of living existences.
Consists of Atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons.A cell is formulated with molecules, which are made of atoms.
LifeAtoms do not have life. They do not need food or water, and they do not reproduce.Cells are alive. Cells consume food and water and can reproduce.
ConstructAtoms construct molecules.Cells make tissues for organs.
SizeAtoms are smaller than cells.Cells are more significant than atoms.

What is Atom?

Atom is the essence of the matter. Atoms have been determined as “the basic building blocks of matter.”

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Nothing that exists is as tiny as an atom in a chemical element. Atoms are too small to see with the naked eye.

Each atom has one nucleus at the center, which contains protons and neutrons. The nucleus is the center of the atoms, bounded by one or more electrons.

A proton has a positive charge. At the same time, an electron has negative control. The cost of an atom will be zero if it contains the same amount of protons and electrons.

Atom takes part in all chemical reactions, and when a chemical reaction occurs, atoms can rearrange.


What is a Cell?

Cells are the rudimentary unit of life. Cells are living, functioning structural unit that is responsible for the process of life.

Cells are made of molecules. Each cell contains a fluid called the cytoplasm, which is enveloped by a membrane.

Every organism is constructed of cells. Cells are alive. 

They absorb the food and water to keep the organisms in working order. Cells help in reproduction and pass genetic information from one cell to the other.

Mitochondria fulfill this requirement for energy. Mitochondria are determined as the “powerhouse of cells.”


Main Differences Between Atom and Cell

  1. An atom is a chemical unit. It is the smallest particle of a chemical element. A cell is a biological unit. It is the smallest unit of any living beings.
  2. A cell is composed of molecules, and molecules are composed of atoms.
Difference Between Atom and Cell

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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28 thoughts on “Atom vs Cell: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table is very informative. It’s easy to get a clear understanding of the differences between atoms and cells.


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