Atomic and Sub Atomic Physics
Atoms are made of over 200 different sub atomic particles. The electrons, protons and neutrons are composed of many of these sub atomic particles. [ current theory ]
An electron by convention has a negative charge. A proton by convention has a positive charge. The strength of the charge of an electron and proton are equal.
A neutron has no charge.
The charge of an electron or proton is detected as a magnetic field. This magnetic field is the same as the field seen in magnets. When iron atoms align in a bar ( or any other shape ) their electron/proton magnetic fields are easily measured and viewed ( with iron filings ).
Protons and Neutrons are baryons ( made up of three quarks ) in the family of hadrons ( quark based particles ). A proton is composed of 2 up quarks ( +4/3 ) and 1 down quark ( -1/3 ) held together by very small particles called gluons. A neutron is composed of 1 up quark ( +2/3 ) and 2 down quarks ( -2/3 ) held together by gluons. Another hadron is the meson ( made up of one quark and one antiquark ). A quark ( elemental particle ) is a fermion. [ current theory ]
An atom's structure is composed of a nucleus containing one or more protons and zero or more neutrons, with electrons in the space surrounding the nucleus.
Except for the hydrogen atom all atoms are composed of electrons, protons and neutrons.
The behavior of the electron is based on the electron theory.
The electron ( a fermion ) is a charged lepton ( elemental particle ). The neutrino is an uncharged ( neutral ) lepton. Other leptons are muons and tauonics. Electrons are the least massive of the leptons. [ current theory ]
All particles have their counter part which is called it's anti-particle ( having all the same characteristics except the opposite charge ). As an example the electron has a negative charge and it's anti-particle the positron has a positive charge. An antihydrogen atom can be formed with an antiproton and positron. [ current theory ]
In a relatively stable atom there is one electron and one neutron for each proton.
The most abundant form of Hydrogen has only one proton.
A neutron has slightly more mass than a proton.
A proton is about 1,836 times the mass of an electron.
Atomic Number, Weight, Mass:
For atoms lighter than iron, the atomic weight is smaller than the total mass of the protons and neutrons.
For atoms heavier than iron, the atomic weight is a little larger than the total mass of the protons and neutrons. What this means is that to hold the nucleus together requires binding energy extracted from the masses of the protons and neutrons, thus reducing the individual masses of the protons and neutrons. This binding energy is the energy released during nuclear fission.
On the modern periodic table the atomic weight is derived by multipling the atomic number by 2 ( except for hydrogen ). The total mass of the protons and neutrons is not shown. So the previous two paragraphs can not be determined by looking at the periodic table.
Electrons fill the space around the nucleus in specific shells composed of orbitals. Shells are labeled K through Q. Each shell has a limit to the number of electrons it can contain which limits the number of orbitals it can have. Orbitals are regions of space at a specific energy level that an electron can have. Most regions can hold up to 2 electrons. Each shell contains electrons of a particular energy level. The higher the shell number the higher the energy level.
Here is a link to images of the various orbitals: Grand Orbital Table.
n, is the principal quantum number (shell)
l, is the orbital quantum number (orbital)
m, is the angular momentum quantum number (direction the orbital is aligned).
To help a little, n = 1 is the K shell, l = 0 is an s orbital, l = 1 is a p orbital and l = 2 is a d orbital. So a description of 4s3 ( n = 4, l = 0 ) would refer to the 3rd electron in the s orbital in the 4th shell. There is a difference between l, a quantum energy level and the orbital shape. These energy levels are computed mathematically and the shapes are drawn according to the theory of quantum physics. [ current theory ]
SubOrbital Shape Descriptions:
The first shell has a s orbital and is designated as 1s. An s orbital can contain up to 2 electrons. The s orbital is a sphere shaped region surrouding the nucleus.
The second shell has a s orbital ( 2s ) and may also have a p orbital ( 2p ). The p orbital can contain up to 6 electrons. The p orbital has three dual pear shaped regions projecting out from the nucleus.
The third shell has a s orbital ( 3s ) and may also have a p orbital ( 3p ) and a d orbital ( 3d ). The d orbital can contain up to 10 electrons. The d orbital has three dual pear shaped regions and a ring shaped region ( which can hold 4 electrons ) surrouding the nucleus.
The forth shell has a s orbital ( 4s ) and may also have a p orbital ( 4p ), a d orbital ( 4d ) and a f orbital ( 4f ). The f orbital can contain up to 14 electrons.
The fifth, sixth and seventh shells have the same structure as the forth shell. At present the largest atoms ( 87 - Francium 223 to 109 - Unnilennium renamed Meitnerium? 266 ) create only the 7s sub shell.
I don't know the structure of atoms; 110 - Ununnilium 272 ( Uun ) 1994, 111 - Unununium 272 ( Uuu ) 1996, 112 Ununbium 277 ( Uub ) 1996, 113 - not made, 114 - Ununquadium ( Uuq ) 1999, 115 - not made, 116 Ununhexium ( Uuh ) 1999, 117 - not made, 118 Ununoctium ( Uno ) 1999. These atoms are made in reaction chambers.
See Tables - Atomic Order 1 to 54, 55 to 109, 1 to 109 and Atomic Shells 1 to 9, 10 to 18, 1 to 18, for my layout of the Periodic Table for the creation and filing of the orbitals.
G ( group ), atoms with the same number of valance electrons in their outer orbitals ( usually the same shell ) that gives the atoms the same chemical properties as seen in the columns on the periodic table. P ( period ) identifies the how the shells are filled with electrons as seen in the rows on the periodic table.
Chemical Properties of Atoms:
For an electron to move from a higher shell to a lower shell requires that an electron convert some of it's kinetic energy ( the energy of motion ) into potential energy ( energy at rest ). The energy conversion creates an energy packet called a photon. The electrons in the outer unfilled sub shells determines the majority of the chemical properties of an atom.
The most stable atoms are the ones that have only s and p orbitals in their outer shell, that are completely filled. On the periodic table, the atoms; Helium, Neon, Argon are inert and don't react chemically.
The atoms; Krypton, Xenon and Radon are generally inert and don't react chemically, but at high temperatures Krypton and Xenon have been shown that they will form compounds with other elements.
The further an electron is from the nucleus the weaker the connection to the protons. This means the valency electrons are weakly held by the atom and are easily stripped off. Removing an electron from an atom gives the atom a positive charge.
Ions are chemically very reactive and are best known as acids and bases ( alkalis ) who's strength ( acidity ) is measured with a pH test.
An atom with almost enough electrons to fill it's outer sub shells will attract or capture nearby electrons.
An atom with just enough protons to create the outer sub shells, with only a few electrons to fill the outer sub shells, will easily give up or be stripped of the valency electrons.
A weakly held electron will be captured by an atom with a few unfilled outer sub shells. The negative charged ion will weakly hold the positive charged ion.
Atoms that have a near balance between the electrons in the outer sub shells and the number of regions not filled with electrons can easily capture an electron or be stripped of an electron. This quality is important in electricity.
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Last updated: Nov 16, 2014