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In chemistry, molecule (CR:1150) (LH:12) (TL:1162|#17) is bonded structure comprised of two or more atoms; the simplest example is the ‘H molecule’ (Heitler, 1956), or dihydrogen H2, comprised of two hydrogen atoms attached via covalent bond.


In 1620, Isaac Beeckman, building on Epicurus, via recent re-discovery of On the Nature of Things (Lucretius, 55BC), outlined the first concept of the molecule.[1]

In 1649, Pierre Gassendi, influenced by Beeckman, in his Arrangement of the Philosophy of Epicurus, coined the term "molecule" (molécule), as the attachment of two or more atoms, or small mass comprised of atoms.[2]


The following are related quotes:

“The reason for the formation of a ‘molecule’, is the quantum mechanical exchange phenomena, and the bulk of the ‘binding energy’ is the exchange energy A.”
Walter Heitler (1956), Elementary Wave Mechanics (pg. 134) [3]

End matter

See also


  1. (a) Kubbinga, Henk. (1988). “The first ‘molecular’ theory (1620): Isaac Beeckman (1588-1637)” (abs), Journal of Molecular Structure, 181(3-4):205-18.
    (b) Kubbinga, Henk. (2001). The History of the Concept of the Molecule (L'Histoire du concept de 'molécule'). Springer.
  2. Gassendi, Pierre. (1649). Arrangement of the Philosophy of Epicurus (Syntagma philosophiae Epicuri). Publisher.
  3. Heitler, Walter. (1936). Elementary Wave Mechanics: with Application to Quantum Chemistry (pg. 134). Oxford.

External links

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