Problem: How do the molecules of a compound differ from the molecules of an element?

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We are asked to determine how the molecules of a compound differ from the molecules of an element.

Elements are composed of one type of atom: (a) Atoms of an element. A diagram shows several of one type of atom in motion. (b) Molecules of an element. A diagram shows several molecules, each consisting of two of the same atom bonded together in motion. Compounds must have at least two kinds of atoms: (c) Molecules of a compound. A diagram shows several molecules, each consisting of one central atom bonded to three other atoms of a different type. (d) Mixture of elements and a compound. A diagram shows a mixture of atoms from part (a), molecules of an element from part (b), and molecules of a compound from part (c).

Recall that mixtures are combinations of two or more pure substances (elements or compounds).

 Mixtures are not chemically combined.


Mixtures can either be:

• Homogeneous: the components are evenly distributed and indistinguishable from each other (e.g. solution)

• Heterogenous: the components are not evenly distributed and distinguishable from each other


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How do the molecules of a compound differ from the molecules of an element?

Elements are composed of one type of atom: (a) Atoms of an element. A diagram shows several of one type of atom in motion. (b) Molecules of an element. A diagram shows several molecules, each consisting of two of the same atom bonded together in motion. Compounds must have at least two kinds of atoms: (c) Molecules of a compound. A diagram shows several molecules, each consisting of one central atom bonded to three other atoms of a different type. (d) Mixture of elements and a compound. A diagram shows a mixture of atoms from part (a), molecules of an element from part (b), and molecules of a compound from part (c).


Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Mixtures concept. You can view video lessons to learn Mixtures. Or if you need more Mixtures practice, you can also practice Mixtures practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Marks' class at ASU.