What is the basic unit of any element?

1 Answer
May 11, 2017


The most basic unit of any element is the atom.


The atom is the smallest piece of an element. They can only be seen with an electron microscope. This is how small they are. Atoms bond to create molecules, which can create compounds/solutions.

Every element has a specific charge as well (besides transition metals). For example:

  • Hydrogen #H# has a #+1# charge.
  • Chlorine #Cl# has a #-1# charge.

If we want an element or a compound/solution to be stable, the charges must add up to #0#. In this case when these two bond stated, they are balanced and react without consequences. Therefore the formula for when hydrogen and chlorine bond is:

#HCl# < < This is also known as Hydrochloric Acid, which is a highly corrosive liquid.

It's important to understand that once you change the chemical formula, you change the whole entire number or atoms in that "object".