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Matter
Compounds



Compounds
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    compounds, chloride, periodic, atom, hydrogen, photosynthesis, undergo, substance, chlorine, molecule, naturally, gasoline, beginning, sodium, liquid, matter


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Compounds
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     All matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms. When different kinds of atoms join together, they form molecules called chemical compounds. In compounds, atoms of different elements are linked together.
 
2     Each group of linked atoms is called a molecule. Compounds may be made of many molecules. Compounds often have physical properties that are very different from the properties of the elements they are made of. For instance, oxygen in the air is in the form of a gas. Hydrogen is also a gas. When oxygen atoms join with hydrogen atoms, they form molecules of liquid water. What would happen if the atoms of elements couldn't join together to form molecules? There would be no such thing as water. The world would be very different if compounds didn't exist.
 
3     A compound that you probably see every day is sodium chloride or table salt. It is formed when sodium atoms join with chlorine atoms. Sodium is a gray metal, and chlorine is a yellowish poisonous gas. How can these two different substances form a white solid that we can eat?

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