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4: Atoms, Elements, and the Periodic Table

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    323266
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    • 4.1: Cutting Aluminum until you get Atoms
      Take some aluminum foil. Cut it in half. Now you have two smaller pieces of aluminum foil. Cut one of the pieces in half again. Cut one of those smaller pieces in half again. Continue cutting, making smaller and smaller pieces of aluminum foil.
    • 4.2: Indivisible - The Atomic Theory
      You learned earlier how all matter in the universe is made out of tiny building blocks called atoms. All modern scientists accept the concept of the atom, but when the concept of the atom was first proposed about 2,500 years ago, ancient philosophers laughed at the idea. It has always been difficult to convince people of the existence of things that are too small to see. We will spend some time considering the evidence (observations) that convince scientists of the existence of atoms.
    • 4.3: The Nuclear Atom
      While Dalton's Atomic Theory held up well, J. J. Thomson demonstrate that his theory was not the entire story. He suggested that the small, negatively charged particles making up the cathode ray were actually pieces of atoms. He called these pieces "corpuscles," although today we know them as electrons. Thanks to his clever experiments and careful reasoning, J. J. Thomson is credited with the discovery of the electron.
    • 4.4: The Properties of Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons
      Electrons are extremely small. The mass of an electron is only about 1/2000 the mass of a proton or neutron, so electrons contribute virtually nothing to the total mass of an atom. Electrons have an electric charge of −1, which is equal but opposite to the charge of a proton, which is +1. All atoms have the same number of electrons as protons, so the positive and negative charges "cancel out", making atoms electrically neutral.
    • 4.5: The Electromagnetic Spectrum
      Electromagnetic waves have an extremely wide range of wavelengths, frequencies, and energies. The highest energy form of electromagnetic waves are gamma (γ) rays and the lowest energy form are radio waves.
    • 4.6: The Bohr Model - Atoms with Orbits
      Bohr's model suggests that each atom has a set of unchangeable energy levels, and electrons in the electron cloud of that atom must be in one of those energy levels. Bohr's model suggests that the atomic spectra of atoms is produced by electrons gaining energy from some source, jumping up to a higher energy level, then immediately dropping back to a lower energy level and emitting the energy difference between the two energy levels. The existence of the atomic spectra supports Bohr's model.
    • 4.7: Elements- Defined by Their Number of Protons
      Scientists distinguish between different elements by counting the number of protons in the nucleus. Since an atom of one element can be distinguished from an atom of another element by the number of protons in its nucleus, scientists are always interested in this number, and how this number differs between different elements. The number of protons in an atom is called its atomic number (Z). This number is very important because it is unique for atoms of a given element.
    • 4.8: Mendeleev and Periodic Table
    • 4.9: Looking for Patterns - The Periodic Table
      Certain elemental properties become apparent in a survey of the periodic table as a whole. Every element can be classified as either a metal, a nonmetal, or a metalloid (or semi metal). A metal is a substance that is shiny, typically (but not always) silvery in color, and an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. Metals are also malleable (they can be beaten into thin sheets) and ductile (they can be drawn into thin wires).
    • 4.10: The Quantum-Mechanical Model- Atoms with Orbitals
      Quantum mechanics involves the study of material at the atomic level. This field deals with probabilities since we cannot definitely locate a particle. Orbitals are mathematically derived regions of space with different probabilities of having an electron.
    • 4.11: Quantum-Mechanical Orbitals and Electron Configurations
      We look at the four quantum numbers for a given electron. Electron configuration notation simplifies the indication of where electrons are located in a specific atom. The Aufbau principle gives the order of electron filling in an atom. Hund's rule specifies the order of electron filling within a set of orbitals. Orbital filling diagrams are a way of indicating electron locations in orbitals.
    • 4.12: Electron Configurations and the Periodic Table
      The arrangement of electrons in atoms is responsible for the shape of the periodic table. Electron configurations can be predicted by the position of an atom on the periodic table.
    • 4.13: Ions - Losing and Gaining Electrons
      Atom may lose valence electrons to obtain a lower shell that contains an octet. Atoms that lose electrons acquire a positive charge as a result. Some atoms have nearly eight electrons in their valence shell, and can gain additional valence electrons until they have an octet. When these atoms gain electrons, they acquire a negative charge.
    • 4.14: Isotopes - When the Number of Neutrons Varies
      All atoms of the same element have the same number of protons, but some may have different numbers of neutrons. For example, all carbon atoms have six protons, and most have six neutrons as well. But some carbon atoms have seven or eight neutrons instead of the usual six. Atoms of the same element that differ in their numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. Many isotopes occur naturally.
    • 4.15: Atomic Mass - The Average Mass of an Element’s Atoms
      In chemistry, we very rarely deal with only one isotope of an element. We use a mixture of the isotopes of an element in chemical reactions and other aspects of chemistry, because all of the isotopes of an element react in the same manner. That means that we rarely need to worry about the mass of a specific isotope, but instead need to know the average mass of the atoms of an element.


    4: Atoms, Elements, and the Periodic Table is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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