How Small Is An Atom? Spoiler: Very Small.



How to Understand Atoms

Steps

  1. Understand that the atomic theory has come a long way.The ancient Greek philosophers are usually credited with first inventing the idea of atoms, but the idea had currency from a lot of other common observations, such as noticing that adding salt to water makes all the water salty.
  2. Know that atoms are very small.A very large number called Avogadro's number is how many atoms are required to make 12 grams of carbon. To give an idea of how big this number is, a thousand has three zeroes, a million has six zeroes, a billion has nine but Avogadro's number has 23 zeroes!
  3. Know that atoms consist of a small core or nucleus and orbiting electron(s).The simplest atom is hydrogen, which consists of a single proton in the nucleus and a single orbiting electron.
  4. Know that all chemistry is determined by the number of protons in a nucleus.If an atom has six protons, it will behave as carbon. Protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged.
  5. Know that most atoms have an equal number of electrons to balance the electrical charge of their protons.Atoms which do not have an equal number of electrons and protons are known as ions. Atoms can have too many electrons, in which case they are negatively charged, or too few and they will be positively charged.
  6. Understand that atoms also contain neutrons, which are not charged.They "balance" the charge in a nucleus and are not involved in Chemistry directly. An atom with more neutrons will tend to have a higher boiling point for instance, but otherwise will undergo exactly the same chemical reactions.
  7. Celebrate that you are made of atoms!Everything you have ever touched, breathed or seen has been made of atoms.

Community Q&A

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  • Question
    What is the difference between atoms and nuclei?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    An atom is made up of a central nucleus with electrons orbiting around it. The nucleus is a part of an atom, and it is made up of protons and neutrons.
    Thanks!
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Date: 05.12.2018, 01:51 / Views: 91491