Atoms Are What Make Up What We Call? Matter Essay

1278 Words Jun 30th, 2015 null Page
Atoms are what make up what we call “matter.” They are the smallest units of a chemical element, and they consist of protons, neutrons, and electrons. These components form an atom’s subatomic particles. Before discussing the copper atom at length, we must first be able to understand the components that comprise an atom. The first of these components that make up an atom is the proton. The proton is a very important part of an atom, because the atomic number of an atom is equivalent to the number of protons that that atom has. Additionally, the mass of an atom is equal to the sum of the number of protons and the number of neutrons of that atom. The number of electrons that an atom has is also equal to the number of protons that that atom has. Protons have a relative charge of +1 and a relative mass of 1, while neutrons have a charge of 0 and a relative mass of 1. Different from protons, electrons have a relative charge opposite that of a proton meaning they have a -1 charge. Electrons also have a relative mass of 1/1836, which is a value that approaches zero. Because the mass of electrons is so minuscule, they tend to arrange themselves around the nucleus in areas known as orbitals. While electrons take up the regions outside the nucleus, protons and neutrons concentrate in the center of the atom, which is also known as the nucleus. The mass of the nucleus is approximately equal to the mass of the atom because the protons and the neutrons have the most mass out of the rest…

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