Can you ever have a single oxygen atom?
Ordinary oxygen is in the triplet state, where only one pair of electrons form a bond; the other two remain unpaired. Oxygen can exist as atomic oxygen if no other oxygen atom is around. O2 has a lower energy level than 2 separated atoms of oxygen.
Oxygen in the atmosphere is a molecule because it contains molecular bonds. It is not a compound because it is made from atoms of only one element - oxygen.
- When molecular hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) are combined and allowed to react together, energy is released and the molecules of hydrogen and oxygen can combine to form either water or hydrogen peroxide. These two processes are represented by the two chemical equations shown at right.
- Element No. 8 on the Periodic Table of the Elements is a colorless gas that makes up 21 percent of Earth's atmosphere. Because it's all around, oxygen is easy to dismiss as dull and inert; in fact, it's the most reactive of the non-metallic elements.
- Well, if a molecule is considered to be a discrete small unit made up of atoms joined together, then NaCl, and any other ionic solid is not really a molecule. In NaCl we have a repetitive crystal structure in which each Na+ ion is surrounded by Cl- ions, and vice-versa, for as far as the crystal extends.
A molecule is the smallest particle of a substance that exists independently. Molecules of most elements are made up of only one of atom of that element. Oxygen, along with nitrogen, hydrogen, and chlorine are made up of two atoms.
- Compounds contain two or more different elements. Water is a molecule because it contains molecular bonds. It is not a compound because it is made from atoms of only one element - oxygen. This type of molecule is called a diatomic molecule, a molecule made from two atoms of the same type.
- ELEMENTS are the kinds of atoms that we can have. Carbon is an element, hydrogen is an element, and so is oxygen. Now, if you stick an oxygen atom in between those two hydrogens, you have a molecule of water - H2O!
- When atoms join together to form molecules, they are held together by chemical bonds. These bonds form as a result of the sharing or exchange of electrons between the atoms. It is only the electrons in the outermost shell that ever get involved in bonding.
Updated: 2nd October 2019