Combining Atoms

  • Atoms combine with other atoms through the movement of electrons, which could be considered as the “language of chemistry”.
  • They do this in order to achieve a greater level of stability, which is reached when the atom obtains a full outer shell of electrons.
  • Atoms can combine in one of three ways, all of which involve the formation of strong chemical bonds.
  • These are ionic bonds, covalent bonds and metallic bonds.
  • The basic characteristics of each type of bond are as follows:
    • Ionic: the atoms involved are oppositely charged particles in which electron transfer occurs. The opposite charges attract through electrostatic forces.
    • Covalent: the atoms share pairs of electrons between each other.
    • Metallic: this type of bonding occurs in metals and metal alloys (mixtures of metals).

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Morgan Curtin Chemistry

Author: Morgan

Morgan’s passion for the Periodic Table begun on his 10th birthday when he received his first Chemistry set. After studying the subject at university he went on to become a fully fledged Chemistry teacher, and now works in an international school in Madrid! In his spare time he helps create our fantastic resources to help you ace your exams.