# How are chemical elements diffrent from chemical compounds?

Apr 17, 2014

An element can be found on the periodic table; a compound is a chemical combination of two or more atoms from the periodic table.

An element is the smallest unique unit of matter; it is made up of atoms, and the atoms for each element are different in their number of protons, neutrons, and electrons. There are only 118 known elements that exist, and they are organized in a chart known as the periodic table.

Compounds are two or more atoms that are chemically bonded together, through the sharing or transfer of electrons. There are a lot more than 118 compounds in the world, since the combinations of bonds between atoms are endless. Compounds are not found on the periodic table, but can be identified by their chemical symbols, which identifies the types and quantities of atoms in a compound. For instance, ${N}_{2} {O}_{4}$ identifies a compound that consists of 2 nitrogen atoms and 4 oxygen atoms bonded together.