Isotopy Of Atoms

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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. …show more content…
The copper atom has an atomic number of 29, which means that is also has 29 protons and 29 electrons. It is located in the d block on the periodic table, where the transition metals are also situated. Usually when calculating the number of neutrons for a specific atom, we would just subtract the number of protons from the atom mass of that element. However, when determining the number of neutrons for a copper atom, we must take into account that isotopes of copper vary in their number of neutrons because the periodic table records the average atomic mass of all the isotopes of copper based on each of their percent abundances. Isotopes are atoms which have the same atomic number but different mass numbers. While copper has an atomic mass of 63.546 on the periodic table, its’ two most stable isotopes are that of copper-63, and copper-65. Because copper-63 is closer to the actual average atomic mass of copper on the periodic table than is copper-65, we say that the copper-63 isotope is more abundant. The copper-63 isotope has a percent abundance of 69.17%, and it is made up of 29 protons, 29 electrons, and 34 neutrons. In contrast, the copper-65 isotope has a percent abundance of 30.83%, and is made up of 29 protons, 29 electrons, and 36 neutrons. Since atoms are electrically neutral, the number of protons will always be equivalent to the number of electrons …show more content…
According to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, it is impossible to pinpoint the exact position and momentum of an electron. However, these orbitals make it easier for scientists to study electrons and predict where an electron might be at a given point in time. Although very complex, electron distribution within an atom can be explained by a division in energy levels. Electrons are first distributed in energy levels known as shells (indicated by a number), and then they are divided again into what we call subshells (identified by the letter s, p, d, and f etc.). From these subshells, the electrons are then distributed into individual orbitals, which grow larger as they move farther away from the nucleus. Orbitals are limited by the fact that they can only hold two electrons at a time, so when an orbital is occupied, an electron will move to the next closest orbital that is available. The goal is for the electrons to be situated as close to the nucleus as possible. Electron arrangement follows a number of principles: the first is the Aufbau principle, which refers to the “building up” or filling up of the orbitals starting from the lowest energy orbitals before moving to higher energy orbitals. The second principle that applies to electron arrangement is called Hund’s rule, which states

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