The atoms within a compound can be held together by a variety of interactions, ranging from covalent bonds to electrostatic forces in ionic bonds. A continuum of bond polarities exist between the purely covalent bond (as in H2) and ionic bonds. For example H2O is held together by polar covalent bonds. Sodium chloride is an example of an ionic compound. Formation of a compound involves a chemical reaction, whereas a mixture can be created simply by the physical act of stirring items together.