AS AQA Phys Unit 1- Atomic Structure

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The Atom

Atoms contain protons, neutrons and electrons. Both protons and neutrons are known as neucleons as they are within the nucleus. Orbiting the nucleus are the electrons. The Bohr's model shows this. The properties of protons, electrons and neutrons are given below;

Particle; Proton, Neutron, Electron
Charge/charge of proton; +1 (positive), 0 (neutral), -1 (negative)
Mass/mass of proton (relative); 1, 1, 0.0005

Charge/C; +1.6*10^-19, 0, -1.6*10^-19
Mass/kg; 1.67*10^-27, 1.67*10^-27, 9.11*10^-31


  • Electron has a much smaller mass than the proton or neutron
  • The proton and neutron have equal mass (almost)
  • Electron has equal and opposite charge to the proton, neutron is uncharged.

-Each atom is around a tenth of a nanometre in diameter (1*10^-10m), so small an electron microscope must be used to see images of one.
-The proton and neutron are x2000 the size of an electron (electron is the smallest).
-The nucleus only takes up a tiny proportion of the atom.
-Electrons orbit at relatively vast distances.
-The majority of the atom is empty space.
-In comparision with the Solar System (inc. Pluto) if the Sun was the nucleus of a gold atom Pluto would only be half as far as gold's furthest electron.

Each electron has a negative charge. The nucleus is positively charged and so electrons are held…


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