Browse Definitions:
Definition

molecule

A molecule is the smallest particle in a chemical element or compound that has the chemical properties of that element or compound. Molecules are made up of atoms that are held together by chemical bonds. These bonds form as a result of the sharing or exchange of electrons among atoms. The atoms of certain elements readily bond with other atoms to form molecules. Examples of such elements are oxygen and chlorine. The atoms of some elements do not easily bond with other atoms. Examples are neon and argon.

Molecules can vary greatly in size and complexity. The element helium is a one-atom molecule. Some molecules consist of two atoms of the same element. For example, O2 is the oxygen molecule most commonly found in the earth's atmosphere; it has two atoms of oxygen. However, under certain circumstances, oxygen atoms bond into triplets (O3), forming a molecule known as ozone. Other familiar molecules include water, consisting of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (H2O), carbon dioxide, consisting of one carbon atom bonded to two oxygen atoms (CO2), and sulfuric acid, consisting of two hydrogen atoms, one sulfur atom, and four oxygen atoms (H2 SO4).

water molecule

Some molecules, notably certain proteins, contain hundreds or even thousands of atoms that join together in chains that can attain considerable lengths. Liquids containing such molecules sometimes behave strangely. For example, a liquid may continue to flow out of a flask from which some of it has been poured, even after the flask is returned to an upright position.

Molecules are always in motion. In solids and liquids, they are packed tightly together. In a solid, the motion of the molecules can be likened to rapid vibration. In a liquid, the molecules can move freely among each other, in a sort of slithering fashion. In a gas, the density of molecules is generally less than in a liquid or solid of the same chemical compound, and they move even more freely than in a liquid. For a specific compound in a given state (solid, liquid, or gas), the speed of molecular motion increases as the absolute temperature increases.

This was last updated in December 2016

Continue Reading About molecule

Join the conversation

8 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

thanks guys for the knowledge.
Cancel
Thank You The Correct Answer .
Cancel
This really helped with my science homework thanks ����������������
Cancel
thanks
Cancel
There is a space between "atom" and the "s" that follows.
Cancel
Same with molecules
Cancel
this is an atom definition
Cancel
The definition is wrong btw thats for an atom
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

  • NVMe (non-volatile memory express)

    NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a host controller interface and storage protocol to enable a solid-state drive to use the ...

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close