A Chemical Compound

A chemical compound is a chemical formed from atoms of different chemical elements. The different atoms are joined by chemical bonds. It is a chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemically bonded chemical elements. Each compound has a fixed ratio between the elements. The ratio of each element is usually expressed by a chemical formula. For example, water (H2O) is a compound consisting of two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen atom. These formulas provide a shorthand communication for the structure of molecules and compounds.

The elements stick together so strongly that the compound behaves like one substance. The chemical that is made depends upon what atoms it is made of and how they are joined together. These bonds are typically covalent, ionic, or metallic bonds. Ionic bonds are formed when two or more atoms of an element are joined together when one of the elements gains or loses electrons. Covalent bonds are chemical bonds that form when two or more atoms of an element share electrons. Metallic bonds are formed when metallic ions are attracted to the electrons of another element.

Chemical compounds can be liquids, like water which is made from atoms of hydrogen and oxygen joining together. They are a substance formed by chemical union of two or more elements or ingredients in definite proportion by weight. They can also be solids, like sodium chloride that contains sodium and chlorine atoms. We get compounds from natural sources such as plants or make them in laboratories. Compounds can be made from others by scientists and these are called synthetic chemicals. Chemical compounds are named according to the rules established by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

When different compounds are mixed together they may have a chemical reaction. Some chemical compounds can be dangerous but are safe if they are used the right way. Most dangerous chemicals are only used by scientists who have had special training in how to handle and use them. These chemicals might be poisonous, corrosive, explosive, they may catch fire easily, or they may react with other substances.

People who work in factories near chemicals often wear special clothes that stop the chemicals from hurting their bodies.