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monomer vs. polymer

monomer vs. polymer: What's the difference?

In chemistry, a monomer is a molecule with low molecular weight that can combine with others of the same kind to form a chemical compound known as a polymer. In other words, polymers are formed from multiple monomers connected together. Mono- means “one” and poly- means “many.” Natural polymers include silk and wool. Artificial ones include nylon and polyester.

[ mon-uh-mer ]
  1. a molecule of low molecular weight capable of reacting with identical or different molecules of low molecular weight to form a polymer.
[ pol-uh-mer ]
  1. a compound of high molecular weight derived either by the addition of many smaller molecules, as polyethylene, or by the condensation of many smaller molecules with the elimination of water, alcohol, or the like, as nylon.
  2. a compound formed from two or more polymeric compounds.
  3. a product of polymerization.

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