Atoms, Molecules, Matter

Atoms

Image Credit: Pixabay User Nemo, via CC

The tiniest bit that makes up everything around us is called an atom. The chair you sit on, the school bag you carry, the chocolate cake you love to eat, that vegetable sandwich that you do not like so much, and even you, just everything is made up of atoms.

The chair is made of wood, the bag is made of cloth, cake is made of flour, sandwich is made up of bread and vegetables you would say. I agree. But wood, cloth, flour, vegetables are in turn made up of atoms. Let us try to understand it like this.

Write a paragraph about your favourite topic in any language. You can say that paragraph is made up of combination of sentences. These sentences are made up of many words put together. Individual words if you see are a combination of letters. Will I be wrong if I say that your paragraph is made up of many letters? No. You agree, right?

Just like letters are the basic building blocks of any language, atoms are the primary building blocks for things around us. However, atoms are so tiny that we can not see them with our naked eye. We have to use a very advanced microscope to notice them.

The first person to ever come up with the concept of atoms was a Greek Philosopher named Democritus. The word atom, in fact, comes from a Greek word ‘Atomos’ meaning something that can not be divided any further.

Atoms combined together make up molecules. Atoms can be of different types. Combination of different atoms together make up different molecules. Did you know that one water molecule is made up of 2 hydrogen and one oxygen molecule? However, if you put 2 hydrogen and 2 oxygen atoms together, it makes up a molecule of stinky gas called Hydrogen Peroxide!

For our convenience, we say that everything around us is made up of matter. No points for guessing that matter is anything that is made up of billions and billions of molecules. Molecules that are in turn made up of atoms. Matter has mass and takes up space. Solids, liquids, and gases are all matter.

So  you eat atoms, drink atoms, carry atoms and that everything in the world is atoms? All that matters is the  atoms.

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