Structure of an atom
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Although no one has yet found a way of getting a close up view of an atom, different experiments have made it possible to build up a picture or model of what atoms consist of. The colours in these models are of course used simply to distinguish between different particles. In the centre of an atom is a nucleus. This is made up of even smaller or subatomic particles called protons and neutrons. The protons each carry a positive electrical charge. The neutrons are as heavy as protons, but carry no charge. This means that overall the nuclues is positively charged and orbiting around it are negatively charged particles called electrons. The size of the negative charge carried by an electron is equal to the positive charge carried by a proton. Now, the electrons that move at an incredible speed, in fact three quarters of the speed of light. So what stops them from shooting off in any direction? If we could pull an atom apart into its components we would see that a neutral atom has the same number of electorns as protons and its the force of attraction between the positive and negitive charges that prevents the electrons from escaping. Each type of atom is identified by the number of protons and electrons that has. A hydrogen atom has just one proton and one electron. An oxygen atom has eight protons and eight electrons. An Iron atom has twenty-six protons and twenty-six electrons. But this is not enough to explain the behaviours and properties of most substances.
Duration: 1 minute and 56 seconds
Country: United States
Posted by: ang_ruiz on Jan 18, 2013
All matter is made up of atoms. An atom is like a tiny solar system. In the center of the atom is the nucleus...
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