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compound

Introduction

compound, in chemistry, a substance composed of atoms of two or more elements in chemical combination, occurring in a fixed, definite proportion and arranged in a fixed, definite structure. A compound is often represented by its chemical formula . The formula for water is H 2O, and for sodium chloride, NaCl. The formula weight of a compound can be determined from its formula. The molecular weight of a molecular compound can be determined from its molecular formula. Two or more distinct compounds that have the same molecular formula but different properties are called isomers .

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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