difference between atom and molecule

Asked by lee | 5th Jan, 2014, 11:59: AM

Expert Answer:


  • The smallest particle of an element is called as an atom.
  • Further division of an atom is impossible.
  • It consists of nucleus and electrons revolving around nucleus. The nucleus consists of protons and neutrons.
  • For example: Hydrogen atom consists of a nucleus having one proton and an electron revolves around the nucleus.


  • Two or more atoms combine together to form a molecule.
  • Molecule can further be divided into the atoms from which it is formed.
  • It consists of two or more like or different atoms combined through covalent or ionic bond.
  • For example: The H2 molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms attached by a covalent bond. The HCl molecule consists of two different atoms namely H and Cl.

An atom may or may not have independent existence while a molecule is capable of having independent existence. For example: oxygen atom cannot exist independently while O2 is capable of existing independently.

Answered by Prachi Sawant | 6th Jan, 2014, 10:24: AM

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