A glass of water has more molecules than there are stars in the night sky. That’s what I found out from my friend Jack (Qiang) Zhang, an assistant professor of chemistry at Washington State University.
“Everything around us is made up of molecules,” he said. “And while these molecules may be different, they are all made of the same things.”
Those things are called atoms. Zhang told me we can think about atoms kind of like Lego blocks. Imagine that you have a pile of red Legos, yellow Legos, and blue Legos. Maybe you use them to build a tiny house, or you can use this same set of Legos to build something else like an airplane or a robot.
Just as you can arrange blocks in different ways, atoms arranged in different ways can make up different objects. There are a lot of atoms, but let’s talk about three of them. We can find their names on a big chart called the Periodic Table of Elements.