Chemical Bonds Quiz

  • By Susan K. Lewis
  • Posted 01.27.11
  • NOVA

What makes diamond the hardest substance in the world and graphite—the stuff of pencil lead—comparatively so soft? Both are made of nothing but carbon atoms. The answer lies in the chemical bonds among those atoms and how they give rise to different structures. In this quiz, explore what chemical bonding is, and how it accounts for the properties of different materials.

Launch Interactive

Explore what holds atoms together to form the myriad chemical substances found in our world.


Susan K. Lewis
Anya Vinokour and Tara Taylor
Brenden Kootsey and Daniel Hart
Special thanks to Megan Frary and Kevin Jones for providing editorial review.


(graphite and diamond)
© Gene Chutka /iStockphoto
(periodic table with test tubes)
© Pali Rao/iStockphoto
(water molecule model)
© Carolina K. Smith, M.D./iStockphoto
(water molecule showing bonds)
© WGBH Educational Foundation
(neon sign)
© PhotographerOlympus/iStockphoto
(oxygen diagram)
© Chris Lamphear/iStockphoto
(Gilbert Lewis)
Courtesy Bancroft Library, University of California
(structure of NaCl)
Courtesy Ausis/Wikimedia Commons
(salt shaker)
© vikif/iStockphoto
(copper ore)
© ElementalImaging/iStockphoto
(pot on stove)
© YinYang/iStockphoto
© Eric Isselée/iStockphoto
(diagrams of diamond and graphite)
Materialscientist/Wikimedia Commons

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