Atomic Structure Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Atomic Structure?
Atomic structure is the arrangement of particles that make up atoms. Atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. These particles have a very small mass compared to the atom as a whole, but they interact with each other in ways that determine the structure and properties of an atom. Protons and neutrons form the nucleus of an atom, which has a positive electric charge due to its protons. Electrons orbit around the nucleus in shells or energy levels, each having its own energy level or orbital radius. The number of electrons in each shell is determined by quantum numbers; these indicate how much energy the electron can possess and how it interacts with other particles.Protons have a positive charge while neutrons are neutral particles with no charge at all. Electrons have negative charges, but their total number must equal that of protons in order for an atom to be electrically neutral overall. The arrangement of electrons around an atomic nucleus defines what type of element it is; different elements have different numbers of protons and therefore different numbers of electrons orbiting around them (although some elements may share similar structures).Atoms can form bonds with other atoms when their outermost shells contain vacant slots for additional electrons; this happens when two atoms want to fill out their outermost shells so that they become more stable (this is also known as electron-sharing or covalent bonding). This process leads to molecules being formed from many individual atoms bound together into one unit (e.g., water molecules consist out of two hydrogen atoms bound to one oxygen atom). Understanding atomic structure helps us understand why certain materials behave differently than others; by studying the various arrangements within an atom, we can learn why certain substances conduct electricity better than others, or why some substances dissolve better than others in water (or any other solvent), etc. Atomic structure also helps us understand chemical reactions much betterby looking at how different elements interact with each other through electron-sharing processes we can figure out which products will result from specific reactions, allowing us to predict outcomes before performing experiments on them.