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Introduction to Elements, Atoms, Molecules,
THE LANGUAGE OF CHEMISTRY
The way in which atoms join together to form molecules depends on the number of bonding arms each atom has.
A hydrogen atom has one bonding arm () while an oxygen atom has two bonding arms.
Rule : When atoms chemically combine to make molecules all of their bonding arms must be used.
When one oxygen atom joins its bonding arms with two hydrogen atoms, as shown below
a molecule of water is formed
The table (top left) shows the number of bonding arms for ten of the atoms you will be using in the chapters to follow.
Iron and Copper
Iron usually uses two bonding arms to make compounds but it can sometimes use three.
Likewise, copper usually uses two bonding arms to make compounds but it can sometimes only have one.
This is not a problem because you will always be told how many bonding arms the iron or copper atom is using.
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