What Are True Statements About a Compound?

The molecules in a compound can be simple or complex.
••• Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Atoms, molecules, compounds -- chemistry can be confusing at first. However, it becomes easier once you learn the concepts behind the terminology. One of the most important ideas to understand is that of a chemical compound. Originally, the word "compound" meant "to put together" or "to join." Put simply, a compound is a substance in which two or more elements are chemically bonded.

At Least Two Different Elements

A compound contains at least two different kinds of atoms. Another way to say this is that a compound is a substance made up at least two different elements. Oxygen, O2, is an element because it has two of the same kinds of atom. Water, H2O, is a compound because it has two different kinds of atoms -- oxygen and hydrogen.

Defined Ratios of Atoms

The atoms in a compound have a fixed ratio. This means that every molecule in a compound will always be exactly the same. A water molecule will always have one atom of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen.

Chemical Separation

Compounds can be chemically broken down into simpler substances. These substances will always be elements or other, simpler compounds. For example, water can be separated into two elements -- hydrogen and oxygen. Notice that this is another way of thinking about the fact that compounds are made up of at least two different elements.

Chemical Bonds

Granola is a mixture because you could physically separate its parts. It is also a mixture because the parts are not present in fixed ratios.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Compounds cannot be physically separated. Another way to say this is that compounds are joined by chemical bonds. For example, sugar water is a mixture; you could separate the sugar from the water by allowing the liquid to settle or by putting it into a centrifuge. Water is a compound. You cannot separate the hydrogen from the oxygen without a chemical process to break the bond between the atoms.

Defined Properties

Compounds have a particular set of characteristics. Because the molecules of a compound are always exactly the same, the properties of the compound will always be exactly the same. For example, water will always freeze at zero degrees Celsius and boil at 100 degrees Celsius.

Related Articles

What is a Compound?
What Is the Difference Between Molar Mass and Molecular...
How to Convert Molecules to Atoms
Differences Between a Compound and a Solid Solution
What Happens to Ionic & Covalent Compounds When They...
Why Do Hydrates Change Color When Heated?
What Are Two Major Characteristics of a Molecular Compound?
Three Similarities Between a Compound and an Element
How to Calculate the Moles of a Compound
How to Calculate Solubilities
Understanding Chemical Formulas
How to Calculate a Mole Fraction
Are Ions Hydrophobic Or Hydrophilic?
Is Grease Dissolving in Soapy Water a Physical or Chemical...
How to Convert AMU to Mole
The Difference Between Atoms, Ions, Molecules and...
How to Convert Atoms to Grams With a Calculator
How to Calculate Particle Concentration
Compare a Compound and a Mixture
What is a Compound?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!