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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Even the most grand of things the Universe has to offer, galaxies and planets, ecosystems and stars all originate from these tiny things called atoms. Atoms are the building blocks of all matter. Lots of the same atoms can link together to form matter. Each different type of atom forms an element and atoms from different elements are then used to form molecules such as H20 and whilst only 98 elements exist there are billions of atoms!
The structure of atoms:
A single atom is made of tiny pieces of electricity: protons, neutrons and electrons. The atom has a nucleus at its centre which contains proton and neutron particles whilst the electrons rotate around the nucleus in orbits. These particles are so minute (really small) you can only see them by using an electron microscope!
The proton is a tiny particle with a positive charge which, as we mentioned before, is found in the nucleus. The protons in the atom form a positive charge which is counterbalanced by the negative charge formed by the electrons and the atom is said to have a neutral charge. It is this balance that forms the atom and keeps it going so all the matter we see, be it a pen or a mountain, exists because of this balance!
This is the particle of the atom that doesn’t have a positive nor negative charge, it is neutral, but the number of neutrons in an atom effect its mass and radioactivity. The element H (hydrogen) contains one proton and one electron but no neutrons and is the lightest element on the periodic table!
The electron is the particle with a negative charge which moves around the nucleus. Scientists can never be 100% sure about the location of an electron as it spins around its orbit so fast – they can however make pretty accurate estimations! Electrons are even smaller than the other particles of an atom: the mass of an electron is almost 1,000 times more minuscule than that of protons and neutrons!
Atoms can change and be subject to chemical reactions where they share some of their electrons with other atoms. The nucleus of an atom on the other hand doesn’t separate easily which means atoms usually hang around for a long time!