Atoms are the smallest units of matter that make-up elements
and compounds and have the identity of those elements and compounds. While Atoms
contain sub atomic particles such as quarks we will address them at this level.
|The atom consist of two basic components the nucleus and
the electron cloud or electron shell.
||The nucleus of the atom represents "the heart" or the
center of the atom. The nucleus is made up of two parts; the proton and the
neutron. Protons are positive charged particles while neutrons have no
charge. All elements have neutrons with exception of Hydrogen which has
none. Protons and Neutrons weight around 1 AMU. (Atomic Mass Unit) Elements
differ because of the protons in the nucleus of the atom. If an atom adds
more neutrons without changing the number of protons it becomes an Isotope.
|The outer atom is surround by an electron cloud. This
cloud is made up of different energy shells. Electrons orbit around the
nucleus. Electrons are negative charged particles. An atom has the same same
number of electrons has it has protons unless it is an ion. Electrons have
very little mass and their weight does not factor in the AMU.