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? I don't understand ?

  1. Nov 20, 2005 #1
    ??? I don't understand ???

    What is the difference between an element and an atom?

    hydrogen is defined as an element but a the same time is also one single atom. its juat an that has one electron and proton. SO WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? CAN I USE THE LABELS ELEMENT AND ATOM INTERCHANGABLY???
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2005 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    An element is a type or kind of substance. An atom is a quantity of an element, specifically the smallest possible quantity one can have of an element.
  4. Dec 9, 2005 #3
    why can't i if hydrogen is an element and an atom. why would it be wrong for me to say the hydrogen element as opposed to the hydrogen atom. Is hydrogen not an element? is hydrogen not an atom?

    To address this question that i'm asking u have to explain to me why and how hydrogen isn't an element or/and an atom. or else i should be able to call hydrogen an element and an atom
  5. Aug 11, 2006 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
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    Since it seems it wasn't clear to you from jtbell's answer, I'll try to rephrase what he wrote. It's called hydrogen whether you have one atom of it or billions or trillions. The element describes the type of atom...a hydrogen atom.
  6. Aug 11, 2006 #5


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    Gold Member

    Bills are a type of money.
    A single bill is both a "bill" and "some money".
    A one dollar bill is still an amount of money.
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