Chemical Properties Of The Atom Essay

1180 Words Oct 22nd, 2014 null Page
Everything is made of atoms, which are the smallest representative parts of each of the ninety-two elements that occur in nature. Elements are either metals, such as iron, copper or calcium or non-metals such as carbon, oxygen or nitrogen. Chemistry is concerned with the way atoms link together to form molecules, which are the natural chemical units of matter. Molecules represent the smallest particle of a chemical compound which retains the characteristics and chemical properties of the compound. With the rare exception of certain single atom molecules, almost all molecules consist of two or more atoms linked together. An atom of the violently active metal sodium (Na) linked to an atom of the poisonous gas chlorine (Cl), for instance, gives one molecule of common salt (NaCl) — an important body ingredient. Structure of the atom: There are two distinct regions to an atom. The first is a dense closely packed nucleus made up of protons and neutrons. Protons are positively charged and neutrons are neutral in charge. Together they make up much of the mass of the atom. They both have similar masses. Surrounding the nucleus are electrons. These are arranged in shells, or energy levels, around the nucleus. Electrons are negatively charged and are held to the nucleus by electrostatic charges. Within an atom there are the same number of protons as electrons – the atom is neutral overall. If electrons are added, the atom will gain a negative charge overall, while if electrons…

Related Documents