What Are Representative Particles of Elements?

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A representative particle is the smallest unit of a substance that can be broken down without altering the composition. Matter is composed of three types of representative particles: atoms, molecules and formula units.

Atoms and Elements

  • Atoms are the smallest particle that can be split. Substances that contain only one kind of atom are called elements.

Molecules

  • The molecule is the representative particle of molecular compounds. It is also the representative particle of diatomic elements.

Formula Unit

  • The representative particle of an ionic compound is the formula unit. A formula unit uses a formula to calculate the basic whole number ratio of the ions in an ionic compound.

Diatomic Elements

  • Diatomic elements, or molecules, are made up of two atoms of the same element. These diatomic elements are not part of a compound.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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