What are the components of an atom


What is the atom?


the atom: The concept of the existence of small units that make up matter has been known since the time of ancient Greece, so that the word atom has existed since that time, but its existence was only proven by John Dalton in the early eighteenth century, as the atom is the smallest building unit of matter, and its components cannot be separated. By any chemical medium, examples are atoms; Hydrogen, carbon, and zinc, as for chemical compounds, they can be broken down into smaller parts, namely atoms, for example, it is possible to break down sodium chloride into chlorine atoms and sodium atoms, and it is also possible to view these atoms at the present time using a scanning tunneling microscope, and this article will answer the question: What are the components of an atom?


What are the components of the atom: to answer the question "What are the components of the atom?" It can be said that there are three main components of the atom, which are: protons, neutrons and electrons, so that the protons and neutrons are concentrated in the nucleus, and are linked with each other through the forces of nuclear bonding that can overcome the electrical forces that may in turn cause the repulsion of the protons with each other, and this repulsion It is the cause of unstable atoms; As the nuclear bonding forces differ according to the size of the atoms, since large atoms are usually unstable, so the greater their size, the greater the repulsion strength, and therefore these bonding forces cannot overcome the repulsion, and this is why the unstable atoms dissolve into other elements, for example the isotope decays Carbon 14 to the isotope of nitrogen 14.


Protons: are the first components of the atom are protons, which are positively charged particles, which were discovered by Rutherford. They have a mass slightly smaller than neutrons so that their mass relative to neutrons is 0.9986, while their actual mass is equal to 1.673 * 10-27, and the number of protons in atoms was used to determine the elements For example, carbon atoms contain 6 protons and oxygen 8 protons, and so on. This number also determines the chemical behaviors of the atoms of the elements. This number of protons is known by the atomic number on the basis of which the elements are arranged in the periodic table, and the proton consists of 3 quarks; Two each carries two-thirds of a positive charge and one carries a third of a negative charge, so that their sum is equal to +1, which is the charge of the proton. These quarks are linked together through massless particles called gluons.


Neutrons: The neutrons are uncharged particles discovered by the scientist Rutherford in 1920. The physical mass of the neutron is 1.6749 * 10-27. The masses of protons and electrons are usually compared to the mass of the neutron, which makes it have a relative mass equal to 1, and neutrons are present in all the nuclei of the elements except the Isotope of hydrogen one whose nucleus contains one proton, and neutrons also consist of 3 quarks; Two each carry one-third of the negative charge, and the last one carries two-thirds of the negative charge, so that their sum is equal to zero to give the neutron its neutral charge.


Electrons: The most important thing that can be detailed in answering the question: "What are the components of an atom?" Are the electrons; Electrons have a negative charge that is attracted to protons inside the nucleus according to the laws of electrical attraction, and it was discovered by the British physicist Thomson, and it has a very small mass, as it is 1800 times smaller compared to the protons and neutrons, so its mass is equal to 9.109 * 10-31, and there are also these Electrons inside orbits surround the nucleus in the form of a cloud so that the orbits close to it are spherical while the outer orbits are more complex, and this electronic cloud model is an idea put forward by Austrian science Erwin Schrödinger, and it is possible to distribute the electrons in their orbits around the nucleus so that the important orbit is the outer orbit that makes It is easy to predict the properties of atoms, such as their stability, boiling point, and conductivity

Secondary atom components: There are a number of secondary components of elemental atoms that are often emitted during the process of radioactive decay, and these secondary components include alpha particles and beta particles, and it is worth noting that gamma rays that are emitted during some types of radioactive decay are not considered particles at all. Simple for alpha and beta particles:


Alpha molecules: which are symbolized by the symbol α, which are helium nuclei that consist of two protons and two neutrons, which are emitted from radioactive elements with large unstable nuclei to turn into other more stable elements, and they are not harmful to living organisms as they stop when confronting any obstacle such as skin, But if the source of its emission is from within the body, it causes great harm, and these particles are used in the manufacture of artificial heart pacemakers.


Beta particles: which are symbolized by the symbol, and they are free electrons or positrons of high energy and speed, so that positrons have the same mass of electrons but have a positive charge, and beta particles have the ability to penetrate objects a thousand times more than alpha particles, and therefore they cause Significant damage to the structure of living organisms, as it may cause a number of cancers and may lead to death, and despite its harmful effects, it is used in radiation therapy for cancers.


The role of the components of the atom in the chemical reactions: after knowing the answer to the question: "What are the components of the atom?" Its importance can be recognized, and since the atom consists of the nucleus and the electrons surrounding it, so these electrons are the most important components of the atom during the occurrence of chemical reactions between the atoms of the various elements, as these electrons are arranged in orbits around the nucleus and each orbital of it can accommodate a specific number of electrons These orbitals are filled from the inside to the outside with electrons, but the electrons that participate in the interactions are only in the last orbit, as they determine the behavior of the atom.


How did the components of the atom originate? It is expected that the atoms arose after the Big Bang that resulted in the entire universe 13.7 billion years ago. After the new universe cooled, conditions became suitable for the formation of quarks and electrons so that the quarks gathered together to form the protons and neutrons that merged into the nuclei in the first minutes From the existence of the universe to form the components of the atom, as for the electrons, they were formed after 380 thousand years, as the universe lost enough heat that reduced the speed of the electrons to the point where the nuclei were able to capture these electrons to form the first atoms, and these first atoms are hydrogen and helium atoms, which remained the most widespread element in the universe At the present time, as for the heavier atoms, they arose and are still emerging as a result of the gathering of gases in the stars due to gravity, and when the star explodes, these atoms are distributed throughout the entire universe.

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