What is an Atom?
Atoms are the building blocks of ALL matter. Matter makes up the whole universe (excluding energy). Everything you or I can touch are formed from atoms including our bodies and the air we breath.
These atoms are formed of 3 particles called protons,neutrons and electrons. The protons and neutrons cluster together in the center, forming the nucleus, and the electrons fly around ‘orbiting’ the nucleus, called an “electron cloud”. The particles in the nucleus are responsible for an atoms weight, or mass, as the electron has such a small mass that it is said not to have any at all.
Atoms are held together by positive and negative charges, like a magnet. The protons, in the nucleus, have a positive charge and the orbiting electrons have a negative charge. This means the negative electrons are attracted to the positively charged nucleus keeping the atom together.
What is an element?
Element is the name for the different types of atoms. Elements are basic substances that come together to form molecules.
The elements that have been identified by scientists are listed in the periodic table .The atoms differ by the number of protons they have in their nucleus. Most exist naturally but some have only be created in a lab and scientists are still trying to make more (by adding protons).
What is a molecule?
A molecule is formed of 2 or more atoms chemically joined (or bound) together. Molecules can be made of the same type of atoms or combinations of different elements.
For example: - Gases found in the air around earth, nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2), made of 2 atoms of the same elements
- Ozone (O3) that surrounds the earths atmosphere, made of 3 oxygen atoms
- Water (H2O), made of 1 oxygen and 2 hydrogen atoms.
- Sugars, e.g glucose C6H12O6, made of 6 carbon, 12 hydrogen and 6 oxygen atoms