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Difference Between Molecules and Compounds

moleculeMolecules vs Compounds

A molecule came into being when two or more atoms interact chemically and combine together. Compound is also a molecule but it contains atom of minimum two or more elements. Generally all compounds can be considered as molecules but are molecules are not compound.

A molecule can be most appropriately defined as a group of atoms tied in a definite arrangement. A compound is a matter made up of more than one type of atom’”in other words, more than one type of elements. All compounds are not made up of separate molecules, however. For example, Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is a table salt and an ionic compound consists of continuously repeating chain of sodium Na+ and Cl- that are not, in the strictest logic of the word, molecules.

Simply we can define as ‘¦

A compound is a substance that is made up of two or more elements having chemical bond between each other in a permanent percentage by mass. A molecule is the smallest part of a compound. One or more atoms that are chemically unite to form a molecule. Molecular hydrogen (H2), molecular oxygen (O2) and molecular nitrogen (N2) are not compounds because each is consist of a single type of element. Molecules do not have an electrical charge on them, and can exist in a solid, liquid, or gas shape with different weights and sizes. Molecule is the smallest particular component into which a pure matter can be divided and keep its composition and chemical properties. Separation into smaller parts i.e Atom, involves finishing the chemical bonding that unites the molecule together. All substances have diatomic or polyatomic sequence in a molecule unlike Nobel gases incase where single atom is a molecule. The atoms are in same in a molecule such as molecule of Oxygen (O2) contains two atom of Oxygen which are chemically bonded together while in a compound different molecules unite to make a compound such as in Glucose (C6H12O6) Atoms always unite into molecules in fixed magnitude. Covalent bonds between molecules provide them with a specific shape and properties.

Common Examples of Molecules and Compounds:

Methane (CH4), Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Water (H2O) are one of the commonly known compounds made up of elements. Water is a compound made up of molecules of Hydrogen and Oxygen therefore in above mentioned compounds smallest particle is defined as a molecule and further subdivision leads to break of bonding between molecules and in this way atoms are formed. Gaseous molecules are oxygen, helium, and nitrogen; whereas examples of solid molecules are silver (Si), and Uranium (U). Mercury (Hg) is only the liquid metallic silver molecule.

Compounds can be recognized by their chemical formula that identifies the molecules that are combined to make a compound. The most famous compound is H2O, which is combination of two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen; commonly known as water. Another most commonly household compound table salt is identified by the formula of NaCl, which is combination of one molecule of sodium and one molecule of chlorine. When compounds are made up from the different molecules, a chemical reaction takes place to create the change in the molecules, and the elements are stabilized into a new form with different properties, colour and shape. Molecules which have only one type of atom, such as O2, which is Oxygen, it is not considered as a compound; because to be a compound, it must needs to combine with a different type of atom to form a compound.

Molecules can be recognized by their weights, sizes and arrangements. We can separate molecules during chemical reactions, and combine them to create larger molecules, or one can combined some molecules with different type of molecules to form compounds.


1. Composition of a molecule takes place by combination of one or more atoms and molecules can exist in a solid, liquid or gaseous state. On the other hand compounds are made up of by the combination of different molecules so molecules are considered as essential component of a compound.
2. Molecules are recognized by their weight and sizes, and can unite to form larger molecules, or separated by chemical reactions.
3. Molecules in a compound are chemically bonded together.
4. Compounds are identified by formulas such as H2SO4 , NaCl and H2O
5. Some famous examples of molecules are Hydrogen, Oxygen, Gold, or Ammonia.
6. Some common examples of compounds are carbon Hydrochloric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate and Glucose.
7. Compounds show different chemical and physical properties as compared to their component molecules.
Above written content is in original and unique form and help to write the article is taken from the following sources (only for information purposes) and article has been written in a completely new and unique format and will be in solely ownership of the employer :-
a.Organic / Inorganic Chemistry (A course book of Graduation Level in University of the Punjab Lahore Pakistan).

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