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Introduction to Chemical Bonding
THE LANGUAGE OF CHEMISTRY
An element, such as iron, is made of atoms. Each element has its own particular atom. An atom of one element cannot be changed into the atom of another element by any chemical process.
There are 118 different elements. In these chapters you will be using 12 of them.
An atom is the smallest part of an element. It cannot be divided (broken) into anything smaller.
Atoms are very tiny. A few million atoms would be needed to cover this full stop.
In the following chapters the atoms of the elements you will be studying have been colour coded. You will notice that the atom of hydrogen is smaller than the other atoms.
Most elements make chemical bonds with other atoms to form molecules. This is because most atoms are more stable as part of a molecule than they are as single atoms.
Oxygen gas and nitrogen gas, for example, contain molecules and not single atoms.
These atoms are diatomic which means they are formed from two atoms which are chemically joined together.
The following table shows two diatomic gases:
Other diatomic gases are hydrogen gas and chlorine gas. The atoms of these elements are shown below. How can molecules of these gases be represented?
Most molecules contain more than one type of atom. These molecules can also be called compounds.
The way in which atoms chemically join together is very precise. The next pages of this chapter are designed as a collection of tutorials to help you to understand the basics of chemical bonding.
Each page gives an explanation and examples. There are questions and links to the answers so that you can monitor your progress. Good luck!
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