"The diversity of chemical behavior results from only about 100 different elements and, thus, only 100 different kinds of atoms. In a sense, the atoms are like the 26 letters of the alphabet that join together in different combinations to form the immense number of words in our language. But how do the atoms combine with each other? What rules govern the ways in which they can combine? How do the properties of a substance relate to the kinds of atoms it contains? Indeed, what is an atom like, and what makes the atoms of one element different from those of another? "
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