Explain the relationship among atoms, elements, and compounds.

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Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter. They are composed of positively charged particles (protons) and negatively charged particles (electrons). Many also have neutrally charged particles (neutrons). Elements are identified by the number of protons they possess—this is called the atomic number. While elements can have different atomic weights...

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Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter. They are composed of positively charged particles (protons) and negatively charged particles (electrons). Many also have neutrally charged particles (neutrons). Elements are identified by the number of protons they possess—this is called the atomic number. While elements can have different atomic weights (the sum of their protons and neutrons), all elements have a specific atomic number. This atomic number allows elements to be classified on a periodic table.

Compounds are formed because elements are seldom found in a pure state—they often bond as valence electrons go to other elements in order to provide stability for the atom. Compounds are combinations of one or more elements which join chemically. There are two different kinds of chemical bonding—ionic and covalent. Ionic compounds are formed when atoms pull electrons away from another element. Covalent allow for two atoms to share electrons.

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