Atoms Facts

Atoms Facts
The name atom comes from the Greek word atomos, which means uncuttable; this implies that atoms are the smallest unit and are not dividable. They are often described as the basic unit of matter.
Interesting Atoms Facts:
Atoms contain a dense nucleus surrounded by a cloud of electrons, which contain a negative charge.
The interior of the nucleus contains positively charged protons, and almost all atoms' nuclei (with the exception of hydrogen-1) contain neutrally charged neutrons.
Nearly one hundred percent of the mass of an atom (99.94%) is contained in the nucleus.
The mass of the protons and the mass of the neutrons are almost the same.
Electromagnetic force binds the electron cloud to the nucleus.
A nearly identical force can allow atoms to bind together, forming molecules.
Atoms exist as either electrically neutral, or ions.
In an electrically neutral atom, the number of protons equals the number of electrons, thus cancelling each other out.
In an ion, however, there are more of one of particle than the other, making the atom have either a positive or negative charge.
Atoms are classified according to their numbers of protons or neutrons.
The number of protons in the atom will determine its chemical element, and the number of neutrons will determine its isotope.
Every element has at least one isotope, and many elements have multiple isotopes.
The isotopes undergo radioactive decay due to their unstable nuclei.
The scientific field of quantum mechanics has led to a successful model of the atom and its observable properties.
It wasn't until the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century that scientists began to discover subatomic particles contained within the atom.
As researchers discovered the existence and properties of subatomic particles, a debate ensued about the fact that there was actually something smaller than an atom and that atoms could be divided, nullifying its name.
Some proponents wanted to change the name of the atom to reflect this new understanding, but it didn't catch on.
The first understandings of the existence of atoms date back to ancient Greece, and it was Democritus who first used the term "atomos" (atom).
Early scientists in ancient India independently developed theories on the existence of atoms.
In 1661, Robert Boyle first published the theory that all matter was composed of atoms.
The nature and structure of atoms was improved upon beginning in the 18th century with the advances in chemistry.

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