Atoms Atomic Theory As early as 400 BC, a few people believed that atoms are the building blocks of all matter. Yet, until recently, even scientists had never seen evidence of atoms. More than 2000 years later, scientists found evidence that supported this idea.
The Greek philospher Democritus proposed in 440 B.C. that matter was made of very tiny particles he called atomos. (Greek: atomos= not to be cut) Alchemists
Before there were chemists, there were alchemistsscientists who wanted to find methods to turn common metals into gold. The alchemists practiced, often in secret, throughout the world during the Middle Ages. Although they were never successful in their quest for gold, alchemists provided much information and helped establish chemistry as a science. Daltons Atomic Theory
In 1808, John Dalton, an English school teacher proposed the first Atomic Theory. Dalton showed that elements are composed of only one kind of atom and compounds are made of two or more kinds of atoms. Daltons 5 Principles: 1.
All matter is composed of extremely small particles called atoms, which cannot be subdivided, created, or destroyed. According to Dalton, atoms cannot be broken into smaller pieces. Daltons 5 Principles: 2. Atoms of a given element are identical in their physical and chemical properties. In any element,
all atoms are exactly alike. Atoms of each element have the same mass. Carbon atom Daltons 5 Principles: 3. Atoms of different elements differ in their physical and chemical properties. Atoms of different elements are different, particularly in
their mass. Hydrogen atom Silicon atom Oxygen atom Daltons 5 Principles: 4. Atoms of different elements combine in simple,
whole-number ratios to form compounds. Daltons 5 Principles: 5. In chemical reactions, atoms are combined, separated, or rearranged but never created, destroyed, or changed. According to Dalton, atoms are indestructible. The combustion of methane and oxygen
forms water and carbon dioxide. Note that the numbers and types of atoms are the same. All atoms are accounted Todays Atomic Theory Today, scientists can divide an atom into even smaller particles and can destroy and create atoms.
For example, in 2006, at Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, scientists produced 3 atoms with 118 protons. All it took was smashing "bullets" of calcium at a target of Californium about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. Each atom lived only a fraction of a millisecond before decaying! Structure of Atoms In the mid-1800s scientists discovered that atoms
can be broken into pieces after all. The smaller parts that make up atoms are called subatomic particles. Electrons (- charged) Protons (+ charged) Neutrons (neutral) Atoms have a Nucleus The nucleus is the dense, central portion of the
atom. The nucleus has all of the positive charge, nearly all of the mass but only a very small fraction of the volume of the atom. If an atom the size of a sewing pin was placed in the middle of the 50 yard line on a football field, the electrons would be orbiting around the goal posts! Most of an atom is empty space!
Protons and Neutrons Compose the Nucleus Protons are subatomic particles that have a positive charge and are found in the nucleus. The number of protons in the nucleus is the atomic number, which identifies the element. Neutrons are subatomic particles that have no charge and are located
in the nucleus. Neutrons add mass to the atom. Isotopes Isotopes are atoms of an element that have the same number of protons, but a different number of neutrons. Most isotopes are rare. An isotope is identified by its atomic mass
number. The atomic mass number is the total number of protons + neutrons in the nucleus of the atom. What is the difference between these 3 atoms? How to Identify an Isotope Look at the atomic mass of the element on the periodic table. Remember that each proton
weighs 1 atomic mass unit (amu). Each neutron also weighs 1 amu. If the atom has the same mass as is shown on the periodic table, it is NOT an isotope. If the atom has a different mass, (but the same number of protons), then it IS an isotope.
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