An atom is a particle of matter that uniquely defines a chemical element. An atom consists of a central nucleus that is usually surrounded by one or more electrons. Each electron is negatively charged. The nucleus is positively charged, and contains one or more relatively heavy particles known as protons and neutrons. A proton is positively charged. The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is the atomic number for the chemical element. A proton has a rest mass, denoted mp, of approximately 1.673 x 10-27 kilogram (kg). A neutron is electrically neutral and has a rest mass, denoted mn, of approximately 1.675 x 10-27 kg. The mass of a proton or neutron increases when the particle attains extreme speed, for example in a cyclotron or linear accelerator. The total mass of an atom, including the protons, neutrons and electrons, is the atomic mass or atomic weight. Atoms having the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons, represent the same element, but are known as different isotopes of that element. The isotope for an element is specified by the sum of the number of protons and neutrons. Examples of different isotopes of an element are carbon 12(the most common, non-radioactive isotope of carbon) and carbon 14 (a less common, radioactive isotope of carbon). Protons and electrons have equal and opposite charge, and normally an atom has equal numbers of both. Thus, atoms are usually neutral. An ion is an atom with extra electrons or with a deficiency of electrons, resulting in its being electrically charged. An ion with extra electrons is negatively charged and is called an anion; an ion deficient in electrons is positively charged and is called a cat ion. Isotones- Nuclei of atoms with the same neutron number. Example: S-36, Cl-37, Ar-38, K-39, Ca-40. These nuclei contain 20 neutrons each, but a different number of protons: sulphur 16, chlorine 17, argon 18, potassium 19 and calcium 20 protons. Isobars are nuclides having the same mass number; i.e. sum of protons plus neutrons; Carbon-12 and Boron-12. SYMBOLS OF ATOMS OF DIFFERENT ELEMENTS
Dalton was the first scientist to use the symbols for elements in a very specific sense. Symbol for some elements
The most remarkable concept that Dalton’s atomic theory proposed was that of the atomic mass. According to him, each element had a characteristic atomic mass. One atomic mass unit is a mass unit equal to exactly one twelfth (1/12th) the mass of one atom of carbon-12. The relative atomic masses of all elements have been found with respect to an atom of carbon-12. The relative atomic mass of the atom of an element is defined as the average mass of the atom, as compared to 1/12th the mass of one carbon-12 atom. Atomic Masses of Few Elements
HOW DO ATOMS EXIST?
Atoms of most elements are not able to exist independently. Atoms form molecules and ions. These molecules or ions aggregate in large numbers to form the matter that we can see, feel or touch.
A molecule is in general a group of two or more atoms that are chemically bonded together that is, tightly held together by attractive forces. A molecule can be defined as the smallest particle of an element or a compound that is capable of an independent existence and shows all the properties of that substance. Atoms of the same element or of different elements can join together to form molecules. MOLECULES OF ELEMENTS
The molecules of an element are constituted by the same type of atoms. Molecules of many elements, such as argon (Ar), helium (He) etc. are made up of only one atom of that element. But this is not the case with most of the nonmetals. For example, a molecule of oxygen consists of two atoms of oxygen and hence it is known as a diatomic molecule, O2. If 3 atoms of oxygen unite into a molecule, instead of the usual 2, we get ozone. The number of atoms constituting a molecule is known as its atomicity. Molecules of metals and...