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What's in an Atom?

All matter is composed of atoms. Each individual atom is composed of three parts: electrons, protons, and neutrons. Atoms combine to form elements listed in the Periodic Table.

Continue reading "What's in an Atom?"





What's in an Atom?


  • Found in the nucleus of the atom
  • Has a positive (+) electric charge.
  • Weighs less than one billionth of a gram
  • Is approximately 2000 times more massive than an electron


  • Orbits the nucleus of the atom
  • Has a negative (-) electric charge
  • Weighs approximately 1/2000 of a proton


  • Found in the nucleus of the atom
  • Has no electrical charge
  • Weighs approximately the same as a proton

For each atom, in its natural state, the number of Electrons and the number of Protons is equal. This number may or may not be the same as the number of Neutrons within that atom, in fact, there may be several different numbers of Neutrons within the nucleolus of the atoms of the same type.

Atoms of the same Element that have different amounts of Neutrons within its nucleolus are called Isotopes. An example of this is Chlorine; there may be 18 or 20 Neutrons within its nucleolus.


The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table (the most important chemistry reference) was created in the 19th century by Dmitri Mendeleev. It is a listing of the known elements by their characteristics, an abbreviation, and atomic weights. Over the years, it has undergone many changes like the addition of elements and the correction of atomic weights. 

Molecules are formed when two or more atoms share electrons with one another and can be described using the abbreviations from the Periodic Table. Water is described as H2O. Two Hydrogen (H2) atoms share electrons with an Oxygen (O) atom creating an ionic bond.

To learn more about the Periodic Table.

Science Experiments

Try these experiments in growing crystals using sugar or salt.

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