Question
Fri April 02, 2010 By: Jyothirmayee Bendalam

The significance or difference 'in the terms: Elements and Atoms'.

Expert Reply
Sat April 03, 2010

Let me explian it using an example.

Consider hydrogen atom.

It is one atom of H having one proton, one elctron and zero neutrons.

Now this hydrogen atom is unstable and has to form a molecule to become stable.So, it forms hydrogen molecule.

Now, when hydrogen exists, it does not exist as one hydrogen molecule in isolation. It will exist as hydrogen element which is hydrogen gas. It contains many hydrogen molecules.

Therefore, hydrogen element will contain many hydrogen molecules which are bounded together by intermolecular forces.

By definition,

An atom is building blocks of all matter.

An element as a basic form of matter that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical reactions. It contains either atoms of same type or molecules which have atoms of same type.

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