How do you make a model of a krypton atom?


Quick Answer

A simple atomic model for krypton requires only styrofoam spheres, paint, wire and fishing line. Also essential is knowledge of basic atomic structure and, specifically, the structure of krypton.

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Full Answer

Krypton is a noble gas with an atomic number of 36. This means that its nucleus contains 36 protons. A krypton nucleus also contains 48 neutrons. Krypton's electrons occupy four energy levels: two electrons in the first level, eight in second, 18 in the third and eight in the fourth.

Given the size of a krypton atom, it is easiest to begin the model with the electron levels, starting with the fourth level. Bend sturdy craft wire into a hoop and slide eight small styrofoam balls onto the wire, spacing them in pairs. Repeat this process with the correct number of electrons for each energy level, but using smaller hoops for each lower level. Paint each level of balls a different color to create a more orderly appearance to the atom. Finally, use fishing line to suspend the hoops from one another.

The nucleus of a krypton atom is large and cumbersome to create with styrofoam balls. If one desires a very large model, this will not be a problem. To make a smaller nucleus, decide that each styrofoam ball represents a specific number of atomic particles, such as four, six or 12. If displaying the model for view, include a key so that viewers will understand the value of each ball. Paint protons and neutrons a specific color and use glue or wire to connect the balls. At last, suspend the nucleus in the center of the electron shells. Display the entire model either by suspending it from the roof of a large box, or by supporting it using a wire base. To create a much smaller model, use craft pompoms in place of styrofoam balls.

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