Sugar is sweet and the sugar granules are small. Can we cut the smaller sugar granules? Yes! we can. Imagine the size of the smallest sugar particle that can retain the sweetness when you cut it. If you keep cutting, you will reach a particle that cannot be divided again without losing sweetness. That smallest particle of the sugar that retains all the qualities of sugar is the molecule of sugar. The sugar molecule again can be divided, but it will not be sugar again. Dividing molecules again into smaller particles is possible. The smallest particle of matter when we divide molecule is known as an atom. That means molecules are formed by the bonding of two or more atoms. Thus atoms are the building blocks of molecules. Sugar molecule contains 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms and 11 oxygen atoms. Many such sugar molecules join together to form a sugar granule.
Before moving to know how these atoms are joined, we will understand what elements like oxygen, hydrogen, carbon etc are. In order to learn it, we should realize one more thing: an atom is made up of subatomic particles namely protons, neutrons and electrons. Each atom has a positively charged nucleus that keeps attracting negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is the permanent seat of protons and neutrons, whereas electrons keep revolving around the nucleus. An atom with only one electron and one proton is hydrogen(H) and Atom with 2 electrons and 2 protons is helium(He), 3 each with Lithium(Li), 4 each with Beryllium(Be) and son.Thus, atoms are differentiated on the basis of the number of subatomic particles. In that way carbon has 6 electrons and oxygen has 8.
Formation of molecules
Electrons are like small children. They do revolve around the nucleus in various shells and energy levels. These energy levels are called sub shells and are denoted by the letters s, p, d and f. The S subshell has the capacity to hold 2 electrons. If we are considering the formation of hydrogen molecule by hydrogen atoms, the only one electron of hydrogen atom is filled in the first S sub shell. Filling one electron in a subshell where 2 electrons can be kept creates imbalance and thus the atom looks to share its electron with another atom. So, it undergoes a mutual sharing of electrons with another hydrogen atom to form a hydrogen molecule.
Electrons thus are really like small children. They develop stress within the home and find friendship with neighboring electrons to become happy and stable! Isn’t it fun. This fun behavior of electrons is the reason for all the development we see around us. Learning about it also is really fun!