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Difference Between Atom And Molecule

In this article, learn the basic difference between atom and molecule for class 11. Atoms and molecules are fundamental units of matter, but they differ in their composition and structure. An atom is the basic unit of matter. The molecule is the result of the union of two or more atoms, that is, molecules are made up of atoms.

Difference Between Atom And Molecule


Difference Between Atom And Molecule in Comparison Chart:

Difference atoms Molecules
Definition The basic unit of matter Two or more atoms joined by a bond
Composition Neutrons, protons, electrons Same or different atoms
Chemical links Absent Present
Examples Hydrogen:

  • 1 proton + 1 electron


  • 8 protons + 8 neutrons + 8 electrons


  • 11 protons + 12 neutrons + 11 electrons


  • 17 protons + 18 neutrons + 17 electrons
Water H 2 O:

  • 2 hydrogen atoms,
  • 1 oxygen atom.

Glucose C 6 H 12 O 6 :

  • 6 carbon atoms,
  • 12 hydrogen atoms,
  • 6 oxygen atoms.

Molecular oxygen O 2 :

  • 2 oxygen atoms.

What is an atom?

An atom is the basic unit of matter. It is composed of a nucleus containing protons and neutrons, and electrons that orbit around the nucleus in different shells.

What is a molecule?

A molecule is a combination of two or more atoms that are joined together by chemical bonds. Molecules can be simple or complex and can be organic or inorganic compounds.

5 Basic Differences Between Atom And Molecule

4 Differences Between Atoms And Molecules:


Atoms are the smallest units of an element, while molecules are much larger than atoms and are made up of a combination of atoms.


Atoms are made up of subatomic particles, while molecules are made up of atoms linked together by chemical bonds.


  • Atoms have unique chemical properties that allow them to combine with other atoms to form molecules.
  • Molecules have unique properties based on the composition of the atoms that make them up.

State of the matter:

Atoms can exist in a solid, liquid, or gaseous state. Molecules can also exist in these states, but they can also exist in a plasma state or dissolved in a liquid.


In conclusion, Atoms are the most basic units of matter, while molecules are combinations of atoms that have unique properties. Both are crucial to understanding the chemistry and physics of our world.

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