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A pure substance that cannot be split up into 2 or more simpler substances by physical or
chemical processes (Explanation: If you take a copper wire and cut it into trillion pieces and
observe these pieces under a very powerful scanning electron microscope, you will find nothing
else - no iron, no sulfur, no carbon etc except the element copper, ie. copper itself)

©  All found in the Periodic Table.

© All the atoms in one element are identicalY YY


Y ; however, atoms of one element are different from the atoms of another element.
For eg. If I say that an atom in the element iron can be represented by a triangle, then all the
atoms in iron must look like triangles! However, the atoms (triangles) in iron will be different
from the atoms (say, circles) in carbon.

© Just like our fingerprints or DNA, Each and every element is identified by its atomic number.
No two elements in the Periodic Table have the same atomic number!

© Elements can be classified into 2 classes: metals and non-metals. Follow the zig- zag line!


A molecule is a group (2 or more) of atoms chemically combined together by covalent bonding.

That is, the atoms that combine chemically together must be non-metals.

Egs. of molecules - oxygen molecule O2, sulphur molecule S8, water molecule H2O , glucose

Note: the atoms that combine chemically together can be from the same element or from
different elements

There are 2 types of molecules:

 Molecules of elements (All the atoms in the group are the same)
For eg., in the case of an oxygen molecule, the 2 atoms contain the same element, oxygen

 Molecules of compounds (At least 2/more different types of atoms are present in the group)
For eg., Water H2O is a molecule - it has got 3 atoms; it is also a compound - it consists of 2
different elements , ie. Hydrogen & oxygen.

A substance which contains 2 or more atoms chemically combined together and these atoms
must be from at least 2 different elements.

They are chemically combined either by covalent or ionic bonding.

An oxygen molecule does NOT classify itself as a compound as the 2 atoms are of the same
element, oxygen. However, water H2O is a compound. It contains 2 hydrogen atoms chemically
combined with 1 oxygen atom & the elements are both different: hydrogen & oxygen.

‰Y Smallest particle of an element is an atom.

‰Y Smallest particle of a compound is a molecule.
‰Y A molecule is the smallest particle of an element or compound which can exist

NOT all compounds are composed of molecules

÷Y Water H2O is a compound (2 diff elementsʹhydrogen and oxygen); it is composed of

molecules (each molecule consists of 3 atoms and all 3 atoms are non-metals).

÷Y Sodium chloride NaCl is a compound (2 diff elements ʹ sodium and chloride). But
sodium chloride is NOT composed of molecules. NaCl has 2 atoms but to be considered
a molecule, the atoms in it must be covalently bonded (all the atoms must be non
metals). Cl is a non-metal but Na is a metal. Hence, sodium chloride is composed of
oppositely charged ions Na+ and Cl-.

åY : Not all compounds are made up of molecules, some are made up of metallic and
non-metallic ions. Compounds that contain oppositely charged ions (cations and anions) are
called IONIC compounds. Examples of ionic compounds are CaO, NaCl, MgF2, CuSO4 etc.
Observe the formulae ʹ at least one atom present in the compound is a metal (colored blue).
Contrast this with molecules where all the atoms must be non-metals.