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What's the difference between ions and atoms and molecules?


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#1 wonders

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 04:40 AM

1. Just in general?

2. In chemical properties?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 Darkblade48

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 06:32 AM

Ions are generally charged particles, such as a nitrate ion (NO3-).

Atoms are the smallest individual particle (barring subatomic particles), such as Al, B, C, etc (various elemental atoms).

Molecules would be combinations of the atoms, such as water (H2O), or carbon dioxide (CO2).

Chemically, they are very different from each other; there is a vast difference between various molecules, let alone the difference between a molecule and an atom.
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#3 DrDNA

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 07:35 AM

It may also be noteworthy that ions can be atoms or molecules or compounds, even very large polymers. Ions can be negatively charged (anions), positively charged (cations), or have both positive and negative charges (ampholytic molecules; and if the pos and neg charges are equal in number, so they balance each other out, they are called zwitterions- I always like that name. Sounds cool).
For example:
Na+, K+, Mg++, Ni++, etc are positively charged atoms (cations).....those with two pos charges (++) are called divalent cations.
HO- (anion), HSO4- (anion), NH4+ (cation), NO3- (anion) are ionic molecules.
Some ionic molecules, like NH4+ and NO3- can combine to form ionic compounds like NH4NO3.
DNA is a very large anionic polymer or compound that can have thousands of negative charges on it.
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#4 wonders

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 06:47 PM

Argh, I'm starting to confuse elements with atoms, and homogeneous mixtures with molecules.

Is it like that:
Molecules contain elements which contain atoms which contain ions?
Molecules ---> Elements ---> Atoms ---> Ions?
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#5 DrDNA

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 09:08 PM

Argh, I'm starting to confuse elements with atoms, and homogeneous mixtures with molecules.

Is it like that:
Molecules contain elements which contain atoms which contain ions?
Molecules ---> Elements ---> Atoms ---> Ions?


Close, but no cookie.
Elements are made up of just one type of atom.
The elements can combine to form molecules. They can be the same types of elements or different types of elements.
Note also that compounds are a type of molecule that is formed when 2 or more DIFFERENT types of atoms combined. I bring this up mainly because you mentioned mixtures- see below).
So, all compounds are molecules but not all molecules are compounds.

This site will help you
http://education.jla...a/atom_idx.html

Homogeneous mixtures. Are made of different compounds that are evenly distributed so that they have predictable properties. Sugar dissolved in water is an example.

Ions can be atoms, compounds, molecules, etc. This just means that they have charge (one or more charges). The charge can be pos and/or neg.
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#6 Firescape

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 10:36 PM

More like: compounds --->Molecules ---> Elements ---> Atoms. Ions are atoms with a charge
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#7 Dak

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 11:48 PM

More like: compounds --->Molecules ---> Elements ---> Atoms. Ions are atoms with a charge


compounds aren't 'made of' molecules, they ARE molecules.

if you want it in that nonclamenture, then its: molecules --> atoms. atoms are elements, so you could also say molecules --> elements.
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#8 swansont

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:21 PM

compounds aren't 'made of' molecules, they ARE molecules.

if you want it in that nonclamenture, then its: molecules --> atoms. atoms are elements, so you could also say molecules --> elements.


Or better yet, compounds::elements as molecules::atoms

Elements and compounds are the names we give to different types of molecules or atoms
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#9 ydoaPs

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:35 PM

More like: compounds --->Molecules ---> Elements ---> Atoms. Ions are atoms with a charge


Ions can also be molecules with a charge. OH- is a good example.
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#10 wonders

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 11:42 PM

Thanks guys!
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#11 MrSandman

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Posted 1 October 2007 - 03:46 PM

I agree with their answers. A negetively charged particle is a Anion. Thought you might want to know that.
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#12 Fred56

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Posted 6 October 2007 - 08:23 AM

The linear diagram needs a branch.
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#13 MrSandman

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Posted 9 October 2007 - 01:52 AM

One interesting thing is that NaCl isn't a molecule, because of how it is constructed. However, 02 is a molecule but also an element. So don't get confused by questions it could possibly have two answers.
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