Difference Between Atoms and Molecules (With Table)

Every entity that exists in the environment is composed of the tiniest particles. The particles are either stable or unstable. The former are stable molecules, whereas the latter is unstable atoms.

Atoms vs Molecules

The difference between Atoms and Molecules lies in the difference in their composition, the reactions carried by them. The smallest particle of an element is called an “Atom” when it is broken down into bits. However, on the contrary, when a compound is broken down into smaller particles, the smallest particle is referred to as a “Molecule.”

The atom is the smallest component of any living, non-living being. Three smaller particles make up one atom. The three particles that make up an atom are protons, neutrons, and electrons. Atoms are incapable of self-sufficiency. They can’t exist on their own because they’re incredibly unstable. Any chemical reaction will not be able to separate the three particles that make up an atom from the atom’s outer shell.

Molecules are formed when two or more atoms come together to create a single entity. Molecules are formed when two or more atoms are joined. However, the atoms, in this case, should all be from the same element and should not be different. Molecules can also survive on their own. They are stable in their current state and can exist on their own.

Comparison Table Between Atoms and Molecules

Parameters of ComparisonAtomsMolecules
Composed of Makeup MoleculesMade up of Atoms
Composition Protons, neutrons and electrons Atoms
Sustainability It cannot exist independently. Exists independently.
Chemical reaction It cannot be separated by chemical reactions. It can be separated with the help of chemical reactions.
Possessing PropertiesMay or may not possess the characteristics of the matter.Possess all the characteristics of matter.
BondingNo bonding exists between atoms. Intra-molecular force and inter-molecular force.
ReactionsNuclear Reactions or Atomic Reactions.Molecular Reactions.
ExamplesNitrogen, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Helium, Titanium, Zinc.NO2, SF4, CH4, CO2, H2O, CH3COOH

What are Atoms?

The atom is the tiniest component of any organism in the environment. An atom is broken down into three subatomic particles. The atom is made up of three particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Atoms cannot survive on their own. Because they are exceedingly unstable creatures, they are unable to exist on their own.

Any chemical reaction will not be able to separate the three particles that make up an atom from its outer shell. When an element is broken down into its constituent particles, the smallest particle is referred to as an “Atom.” An atom may or may not have the properties of the stuff from which it came.

Nitrogen, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Helium, Titanium, Zinc, and other elements are examples of atoms. Nuclear Reactions or Atomic Reactions are the reactions carried out by atoms and their subatomic particles. Between atoms, there is no bonding. As a result, there is no connection between them.

What are Molecules?

Molecules are created when two or more atoms combine to form one entity. A Molecule is created when two or more atoms are united. The atoms in this case, however, should all be from the same element and should not be different. Molecules are also capable of self-sustaining.

They are both stable and self-contained. Chemical reactions can break down a molecule, which is made up of atoms, into various atoms. A “Molecule” is the smallest particle formed when a compound is broken down into smaller bits. All of the matter’s properties are present in the molecules.

NO2, SF4, CH4, CO2, H2O, CH3COOH, and other molecules are examples of molecules. Molecular Reactions are reactions that are carried out by molecules and molecules. Intramolecular and intermolecular forces are two types of bonding that exist between molecules.

Main Differences Between Atoms and Molecules

  1. Atom is considered the tiniest part of any entity existing in the environment. On the other hand, when two or more than two atoms come together to make one entity, then the resulting formation is called Molecules.
  2. An Atom is divided into three smaller particles. Protons, neutrons and electrons: these three particles together constitute an Atom. On the other hand, when two or more than two atoms are combined, they form a Molecule. However, here the atoms should belong to the same element and not be different.
  3. Atoms can not sustain alone. They are highly unstable entities thus, can not exist independently. On the other hand, Molecules can sustain themselves alone as well. They are stable as they are and exist independently as well.
  4. The three particles that constitute an Atom can not be separated from the outer shell of the atom by any type of chemical reaction. On the other hand, a molecule, which is constituted of atoms, can be separated into various atoms with the help of chemical reactions.
  5. When an element is broken down into pieces, then the smallest particle would be called an “Atom”. On the other hand, when a compound is broken down into pieces, then the smallest particle would be called a “Molecule”.
  6. An atom may or may not possesses the characteristics of the matter they come from. On the other hand, the molecules possess all the characteristics of matter.
  7. Some examples of Atoms are Nitrogen, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Helium, Titanium, Zinc, etc. On the other hand, some examples of Molecules are NO2, SF4, CH4, CO2, H2O, CH3COOH, etc.
  8. The reactions carried by atoms and their subatomic particles is known as Nuclear Reactions or Atomic Reactions. On the other hand, the reactions carried by molecules and molecules is known as Molecular Reactions.
  9. There is no bonding exists between atoms. Thus, they do not possess any bonding between them. On the other hand, different bonding exists between molecules like intra-molecular force and inter-molecular force.

Conclusion

The features of the materials from which an atom comes may or may not be present. Nitrogen, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Helium, Titanium, Zinc, and other elements are all instances of atoms. Nuclear or atomic reactions refer to the reactions carried out by atoms and associated subatomic particles. Between atoms, there is no atomic bonding. As a result, they have no connection.

However, chemical reactions can break down a molecule, which is made up of atoms, into different atoms. The molecules have all of the properties of matter. Molecules include NO2, SF4, CH4, CO2, H2O, CH3COOH, and others. Molecular Reactions are the reactions carried out by molecules and molecules. Molecules have several types of bonding, such as intramolecular and intermolecular forces.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul-Popelier/publication/313666825_Atoms_in_molecules/links/5fe9d15c92851c13feca201f/Atoms-in-molecules.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=n1mbd1SafcQC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=atoms+and+molecules&ots=p565htrqL2&sig=EnSi9cfsZAseSpieNPF0HlKXrv8
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