I see that the the standard form of many elements are diatomic molecules under normal conditions (eg oxygen, hydrogen and iodine are usually seen as diatomic molecules) and are all among the most electronegative, and I understand it has to do with energy and stability, but I just have no clue why other elements wouldn't be the same.

What explains why some appear as diatomic molecules and others do not?

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    $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/32705/… $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 8, 2023 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ It's not really correct to say "diatomic elements" - it's implying certain universality, which just isn't there. Like every element can make diatomic molecules. And the ones being exceptions still can make diatomic "Van der Waals molecules". $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 8, 2023 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ On the other hand the elements you think diatomic can be also monoatomic, or even metallic. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 8, 2023 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron. Can iron, aluminium, copper and lead make diatomic molecules ? $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Feb 8, 2023 at 22:04
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps bigger issue is that this pretty much asks why all elements are as they are. Not only oxygen vs sulfur and nitrogen vs phosphorus, but all of them. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 10, 2023 at 16:46


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