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How does a molecule turn into a noticably tangible thing

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  1. Aug 21, 2016 #1
    Firstly, i know this question is worded strangely, i wrote noticeably tangible because a molecule is a tangible thing but not visible to the eye without equipment. But my question is, how do we get a single molecule, and increase its size to be visible? For example a cup of water is like a collection of many water molecules. Are these molecules combing with each other or just near each other? What about a solid object? I can't think of any solid objects that are made of a single type of molecule off the top of my head...

    I guess to kind of simplify my question. Do collections of the same molecule combine with each other or stack on top of each other? Or something else?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
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  3. Aug 21, 2016 #2

    Bystander

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    See "aggregation," or "bulk properties."
     
  4. Aug 22, 2016 #3

    russ_watters

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    Water is a liquid and liquids are literally just individual molecules piled on top of each other. In solids, the molecules are rigidly bonded together.
     
  5. Aug 22, 2016 #4

    Borek

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    Intermolecular forces are what makes molecules stick together. Also google for network covalent bonding.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2016 #5
    Why not? Table salt is a sold at STP, and it is made up of a single type of molecule. Are you confusing molecules with atoms? Even then, gold is a solid, and it is made up of a single type of atom.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2016 #6

    Ygggdrasil

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    You may not notice a single gnat flying around, but you sure would notice 6.02x10^23 of them!

    Similarly, single molecules will absorb or scatter very small amounts of light that are undetectable by the human eye. Large collections of these molecules, however, will scatter or absorb enough light to be noticeable by us.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2016
  8. Aug 24, 2016 #7

    symbolipoint

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    Many, MANY molecules collected near enough to eachother become tangible.

    (Note: Table Salt is Sodium Chloride. STP is Sodium Triphosphate. Better name, Sodium Tripolyphosphate; )
     
  9. Aug 24, 2016 #8
    STP means standard temperature and pressure.
     
  10. Aug 24, 2016 #9

    symbolipoint

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    I did not see earlier. "sold" was meant to be "solid"; "at" was not understood but misunderstood for "as".
     
  11. Aug 25, 2016 #10
    My bad, I can't see or type well :smile:
     
  12. Aug 26, 2016 #11
    What is a single molecule in a crystal? A crystal can be thought of as a really big molecule.
    For something such as a NaCl ( table salt ) one can think all the atoms of sodium and all the atoms of chlorine as bonding together into one really big molecule. After all, each Na is bonded to all the chlorine atoms around it, and in turn each chlorine atom is bonded to all the sodium atoms surrounding it.
    The unit Na-Cl is just the smallest representation of those atoms, and gives the molecular formula of table salt.
     
  13. Aug 27, 2016 #12
    When an object is made out of a polymer, the single object may be a one single molecule, if you have the right type of polymer for which this is true.
     
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