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- Created 2012-03-13
(ˈmɒlɪkjuːl) is an electrically neutral group of two or more
s held together by
s. Molecules are distinguished from
s by their lack of electrical charge. However, in
, the term
is often used less strictly, also being applied to
es, the term
is often used for any gaseous particle regardless of its composition. According to this definition,
atoms are considered molecules despite being composed of a single non-bonded atom.
A molecule may be
, that is, it consists of atoms of a single
, as with
); or it may be a
composed of more than one
, as with
O). Atoms and complexes connected by non-covalent bonds such as
s are generally not considered single molecules.
Molecules as components of matter are common in organic substances (and therefore biochemistry). They also make up most of the oceans and atmosphere. However, the majority of familiar solid substances on Earth, including most of the minerals that make up the
core of the Earth
, contain many chemical bonds, but are
made of identifiable molecules. Also, no typical molecule can be defined for
) and covalent crystals (
s), although these are often composed of repeating
s that extend either in a
(such as in
) or three-dimensionally (such as in
). The theme of repeated unit-cellular-structure also holds for most condensed phases with
ing, which means that solid metals are also not made of molecules. In
es (solids that exist in a vitreous disordered state), atoms may also be held together by chemical bonds without presence of any definable molecule, but also without any of the regularity of repeating units that characterises crystals.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 22 May), licensed under
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