Sunday, May 3, 2009

Molecules and Moles



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Molecules and Moles

A molecule is a combination of two or more atoms that are held together by covalent bonds. A molecule is the smallest unit of a compound that still displays the properties associated with that compound. Molecules may contain two atoms of the same element, such as O2 and H2, or they may consist of two or more different atoms, such as CCl4 and H2O. In the study of chemistry, molecules are usually discussed in terms of their molecular weights and moles.

Ionic compounds, such as NaCl and KBr, do not form true molecules. In their solid state, these substances form a three-dimensional array of charged particles. In such a case, molecular weight has no meaning, so the term formula weight is used instead.

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