The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by particles called electrons. These electrons revolve around the nucleus in paths called orbitals, which vary in their complexity.Know More
Orbitals, also known as shells, become more complicated and bigger the further they are from the nucleus. Only two electrons exist in any one shell, spinning in opposite directions. Scientists can use electron configurations to show the location of electrons in these shells, making it possible to predict various scientific properties of a given atom, including conductivity, stability and boiling point.
When making these electron configurations, the outermost shells are often the most important. For this reason, scientists often abbreviate these configurations using the noble gas that is closest in proximity up the periodic table. This implies the atom in question and the noble gas have the same electron configuration up to that point; the outermost electrons are then tacked onto the end.
All electrons surrounding an atomic nucleus in their respective shells are collectively known as the electron cloud. This cloud has a diameter 5,000 times that of the nucleus. Since electrons are extremely small and lightweight compared to protons and neutrons, the cloud that electrons take residency in is empty space for the most part.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
A nucleus of an atom can be compared to the sun of a solar system because the nucleus, like the sun, is the largest part of an atom and its electrons orbit around it, much like planets in a solar system. Atoms can also gain or lose electrons similarly to how stars can gain or lose planets.Full Answer >
The atomic radius describes the size of the atom, and although there is no standard definition for the value, it is the distance between the nucleus and the outermost electrons. Atomic radii tend to increase moving down the periodic table, but they decrease moving left to right across the table because electrons are more tightly packed for elements that are closer to the right side.Full Answer >
A nitrogen atom's appearance consists of a nucleus that's surrounded by one orbital containing two electrons and a second orbital containing five electrons. The total number of electrons in one atom of nitrogen can be determined by the location of nitrogen on the periodic table of elements.Full Answer >
An atom is made up of three particles called protons, neutrons and electrons. An atom is the most basic form of matter and can not be broken down any further.Full Answer >