The Atom

Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), Taylor (ScienceAid Editor)

Ad

About The Atom

An atom is the smallest unit of a particular substance. Below is a diagram of what an atom looks like:

atom

The red and green circles in the centre are the proton and neutron, they make up the nucleus. The blue circle is the electron and the black ring shows its orbit around the electron takes around the nucleus. Now you need to know about the relative mass and charge of each of these components of the atom. This useful little table should help you to remember them:

Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help
Particle Charge Mass
Proton +1 1
Electron -1 Negligible (0.00054)
Neutron 0 1

Some Terms

There are some terms that you will need to know, and the meaning of them.

  1. 1
    Atomic number
    .
    Also called proton number, this is the number of protons the atom has. This can be looked up on the periodic table of the elements.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  2. 2
    Mass number
    .
    This basically tells you the number of particles in the nucleus (as the electron has negligible mass).
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
    Advertisement

These numbers, along with the element symbol are often written together as follows.

fe.png

The top number is the mass number and the bottom is the atomic/proton number. If you want to work out the number of neutrons you simply subtract the bottom from the top, leaving you with 30.

Isotopes

An isotope is merely where you have different chemicals of the same element, but have different numbers of neutrons. i.e.. the atomic numbers are the same, but the mass is not. On the periodic table, the relative atomic mass is given. This can be thought of as the average mass of the atoms. The example below shows how to calculate this given the relevant data, regarding chlorine.

Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help
Isotope Mass number Abundance
Chlorine - 35 35 75%
Chlorine - 37 37 25%

And the answer is ...

ramcalc.png

Referencing this Article

If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:

APA (American Psychological Association)
The Atom. (2017). In ScienceAid. Retrieved Jul 20, 2017, from https://scienceaid.net/chemistry/fundamental/atom.html

MLA (Modern Language Association) "The Atom." ScienceAid, scienceaid.net/chemistry/fundamental/atom.html Accessed 20 Jul 2017.

Chicago / Turabian ScienceAid.net. "The Atom." Accessed Jul 20, 2017. https://scienceaid.net/chemistry/fundamental/atom.html.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

Comments

ScienceAid welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Article Info

Categories : Fundamental

Recent edits by: Jamie (ScienceAid Editor)

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 14 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No