• Hermann Haken
  • Hans Christoph Wolf
Part of the Advanced Texts in Physics book series (ADTP)


When two or more atoms combine to form a new unit, that new particle is termed a molecule. The name is derived from the Latin word molecula, meaning “small mass”. A molecule is the smallest unit of a chemical compound which still exhibits all its properties, just as we have seen the atom to be the smallest unit of a chemical element. A molecule may be decomposed by chemical means into its component parts, i. e. into atoms. The great variety of materials found in the world of matter is a result of the enormous variety of possible combinations in which molecules may be constructed out of the relatively few types of atoms in the Periodic Table of elements.


Quantum Chemistry Crown Ether Scanning Tunnel Microscope Atomic Physic Internuclear Distance 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Haken
    • 1
  • Hans Christoph Wolf
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Physikalisches InstitutUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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