What Are Representative Particles of Elements?

Periodic table.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

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.


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.

Related Articles

What Is Conserved in Chemical Reactions?
The Difference Between Atoms, Ions, Molecules and...
What Is the Comparison Between Atoms & Molecules?
How to Find the Number of Moles Needed to React
The Difference Between Atoms, Ions, Molecules and...
How to Calculate the Moles of a Compound
How to Convert Molecules to Atoms
What Is Conserved in Chemical Reactions?
How to Convert Micromolar to PPM
How to Find the Mole Fraction
How to Calculate Millimolars
Characteristics of Aquatic Plants
How to Calculate Mole Percent
How to Find Out If an Element Is an Ion
How to Determine Moles of Solute
What is an Atom?
Difference Between Atoms & Ions
Three Similarities Between a Compound and an Element
How to Determine Moles in Chemistry

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!