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How is an element different from a compound?

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Quick Answer

The main difference between an element and a compound is that an element is made up of the same type of atom throughout while a compound is composed of multiple different elements. Both are pure chemical substances found in nature.

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Full Answer

Compounds are chemically mixed together in a fixed ratio. Compounds are arranged by chemical bonds, while elements are ordered and defined by their atomic number. An atomic number is the amount of protons contained within a nucleus of an atom. Compounds can be broken down by using various chemical reactions and methods to form simpler substances. An element is already in its most basic form and can not be broken down into a simpler substance. All of the elements that have been discovered and observed are recorded on the periodic table. The amount of compounds in the world are endless. The visual representation of a compound is written as a formula. Elements are represented using symbols. Water and sodium chloride are a couple of examples of compounds. Elements can be classified as metal, nonmetal and metalloid. Iron, silver and hydrogen are a few common elements. Out of the 117 classified elements, 94 are naturally occurring. Some elements are artificially produced as a result of radioactive decay.

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