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1.1 Elements of Life

Atomic Structure

Atoms are made of three types of sub-atomic particles ­ protons, neutrons and electrons.
Protons and neutrons form the nucleus of the atom and electrons move around it.
The nucleus is tiny in comparison to the space occupied by the electrons.

Particle Mass on…

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Nuclear symbols identify the mass number and the atomic number as well as the letter
symbol for the element they represent.
Atomic Number

"Total protons in the nucleus"

Mass Number

"Total neutrons + protons in the nucleus"


"Atoms of the same element with different mass numbers"

Relative Atomic Mass…

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Mass Spectrometry

Sample Inlet ­ Sample is vaporised
Ionisation chamber ­ Sample bombarded with electrons. Sample becomes cations
Acceleration ­ Ions given the same kinetic energy and accelerated, light ions move faster
than heavy ions
Flight path ­ Enables the ions to separate
Detector ­ Detects Ions to produce a…

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