Sei sulla pagina 1di 10

Atomic Theories and Subatomic Particles The Atom With the exception of hydrogen, every atom consists of 3 main

parts: Name Proton Neutron Electron Location Nucleus Nucleus Outside Nucleus Mass (amu) 1 1 1/1836 (approx. 0) Charge +1 0 -1

Daltons Theory of Matter (Particle Theory 1766-1844) All matter is composed of tiny, indivisible particles called atoms. All atoms of an element have identical properties. Atoms of different elements have different properties. Atoms of two or more elements can combine to form new substances. During a chemical reaction, atoms are not created or destroyed they are only rearranged.

Since Daltons time there has been intense investigation into the nature of matter and it has been discovered that: Atoms are not indivisible All atoms of the same element do not have exactly the same properties (isotopes exist)

In accordance with Daltons 5th postulate (above) the Law Of Conservation Of Mass was derived: In a chemical reaction, the total mass of the starting materials (reactants) will equal the total mass of the products of the reaction.

Reactants Products

J. J. Thomson (Plum-Pudding1856-1940) J. J. used a cathode ray tube (glass tube, emptied of air, with an electrode at either end) to discover electrons. He then proved that these electrons were negatively charged. Since the atom itself was known to be uncharged and yet contained negatively charged electrons, J. J. reasoned that there must be positive charge in the atom also, to counteract the electron charges. J. J. proposed the plum pudding model of the atom, with negatively charged electrons distributed in a positive sphere that was mostly empty space.

Rutherfords Atomic Model (Planetary1871-1937) Performed the Gold Foil Experiment His results led to discovery of the nucleus Used alpha () particles These are positively charged, fast moving particles emitted from a radioactive source. The particles were shot through a thin piece of gold foil (a few atoms thick)

Prior to performing this famous experiment, Rutherford thought that his teachers theory (J.J. Thomsons Plum-Pudding model) of atomic structure was correct. He therefore expected the fast moving particles to fly straight through the gold foil with very little (if any) deflection. After all, there was nothing inside the atom positive enough and dense enough to cause the - particles to change course on their way through.

He was VERY surprised to see that some of the - particles were scattered slightly but a few were deflected almost straight back! He concluded that there must be a dense positively charged centre of the atom he called it a nucleus

Rutherfords Planetary Model

Protons and neutrons make up the nucleus and electrons whirl around the nucleus in defined orbits like planets around a sun.

The Bohr Model of the Atom (1885-1962) The previous model, proposed by Ernest Rutherford, was correct in a number of ways, primarily: Positive charge is located in a dense nucleus at the centre of the atom. Negatively charged electrons whirl around outside the nucleus. The difficulty lay in two areas: Any charged particle (electron) orbiting another particle (nucleus) will constantly lose energy due to its turning motion. Therefore, electron orbits should decay, and eventually the electrons crash into their nuclei. An experiment was performed by Neils Bohr in which energy (electricity) was passed through hydrogen gas (H 2) and light was emitted from the gas. Rutherfords theory could not explain these observations and therefore needed modification. Along came Bohr. In trying to explain his observations (no crashing electrons, and light from a gas) Neils Bohr proposed electrons exist only at discreet energy levels (or energy shells) When electricity passes through gaseous elements, light of a colour characteristic (and unique) to that element is produced. If this light is passes through a prism:

a series of colored lines is produced This is called the line spectrum for that atom.

Each element has a unique line spectrum this is a very accurate method of identifying elements. Bohr theorized that electrons exist only at certain energy levels and that a number of these energy levels exist outside the nucleus. In order for an electron to inhabit a particular energy level, it must possess enough energy to be at that energy level. An electron may jump from one energy level to a higher energy level only by absorbing enough energy to do so The difference in energy between energy levels is called a quanta of energy. A quanta can refer to different amounts of energy depending on the energy difference between any two energy levels. Example: The energy difference between n = 1 and n = 2 is not the same as the difference in energy between n = 2 and n = 3, yet both are a quanta. Electrons are most stable when they are in the lowest possible energy level that has room for them. Each level will house 2n2 electrons, where n is the energy level. When all electrons are in their lowest possible energy level the atom is said to be at in ground state. If an electron absorbs enough energy it will jump to a higher energy level. At this point the electron is said to be in an excited state. Electrons dont like to be excited and therefore will immediately lose some energy and fall back down to ground state. During this transition, the electron loses a quanta of energy mostly in the form of light. Depending on how much energy was lost, light of a characteristic colour is emitted.

In Summary Electrons exist in stable orbits about the nucleus.

Only certain orbits are allowed An electron passing from a lower orbit to a higher orbit must absorb exactly the difference in energy between the two orbits. Similarly, for an electron to move from a higher orbit to a lower one, it must emit energy corresponding to exactly the difference in energy between the two orbits.

For an excellent explanation of these theories and others, please refer to Atomic Number, Mass Number, and Isotopes Atomic Number Symbolized by Z This is the number of protons in the nucleus Each element has a different number of protons and therefore the atomic number is used to identify an element. Ex. Helium (He) has 2 protons and an atomic number of 2; Z = 2 Uranium (U) has 92 protons and an atomic number of 92; Z = 92 Mass Number Symbolized by A this is the total mass of the atom measured in atomic mass units (amu) a single atom doesnt have very much mass at all and therefore it would be inappropriate to measure the mass of an atom using conventional metric units like grams or milligrams for this reason we use extremely small units called amu.

1 proton is approximately 1 amu 1 neutron is approximately 1 amu 1 electron is approximately 1/1836 th of an amu For all practical purposes we consider the electron to have 0 mass, therefore the mass number of any atom will be: A = number of protons + number of neutrons Element Symbol An element is often symbolized by its letter(s) only. For example sulphur is S, or sodium is Na. However, a more informative symbol indicates both the elements letter(s) and its atomic number and mass number: Ex. Sulphur

32 16

; as you can see, the mass number (A) is superscripted on the left of the letter symbol, and the atomic number (Z) is subscripted.

Ex. Sodium
23 11


Isotopes These are two or more atoms that have the same number of protons in their nucleus but a different number of neutrons. In other words, isotopes have the same atomic number but different mass number. Example: 238. Two isotopes of uranium called U 235, and U-

The only difference between these two atoms of the same element is the number of neutrons in their nuclei.
235 92


238 92

Notice that each species has the same atomic number (and therefore are both species of uranium) but different mass numbers, due to their different numbers of neutrons. Isotopes have the same chemical properties but different physical properties. Using the above example, U 238 is very difficult to use in nuclear reactors while U 235 is very easy to use. Note: The most common isotope of carbon is C 12. For this reason C 12 is assigned a mass of exactly 12 amu. This was the first element ever to be assigned a mass in amu and is therefore the standard by which all other elements are massed. For example, if hydrogen was found to have a mass exactly 1/12th that of the C-12 isotope, then hydrogen was assigned a mass that was 1/12th the mass of C-12 namely 1 amu.

Average Atomic Mass (also called Relative Atomic Mass) Symbolized by Mr If you look at your periodic table youll notice that the atomic mass of each element is reported usually to 3 or 4 decimal places (Example: Cl has an atomic mass reported as 35.453 amu). This doesnt seem to make sense since chlorine has an integer number of protons and neutrons, like 17 protons and

18 neutrons, not fractions of protons or neutrons! The reason is that the mass reported on the periodic table is the average mass of all of the isotopes of the element the average atomic mass. Also, each proton and each neutron are not exactly one amu, but they are very close, and so for practical purposes we consider each to be 1 amu. Example: Naturally occurring chlorine is comprised of two different isotopes. One of these isotopes has a mass of 34.9689 amu (called Cl 35) and the other a mass of 36.9590 amu (called Cl 37), yet your periodic table reports one mass, namely 35.453 amu. The number reported on your periodic table is the average atomic mass of all the isotopes of that element in a naturally occurring sample of the element. Using Cl as an example, if you were to analyze any sample of pure chlorine atoms you would find that 75.77% of the sample was Cl 35 atoms, and 24.23% was Cl 37 atoms. In order to determine the average mass of all of the atoms in the sample the following equation must be used: Note: The percentages listed above are called the natural abundances of these isotopes. You can find the natural abundances of all elements at the following link just click on an element on the periodic table displayed (partially down the web-page) and the abundances of all isotopes will be displayed in graphic form: zi=1/XJ&sdn=chemistry&zu=http%3A%2F Average Atomic Mass = (Mass of Cl 35)(fraction of sample that is Cl - 35) + (Mass of Cl 37)(fraction of sample that is Cl-37) Average Atomic Mass of Cl = (34.9689 amu)(0.7577) + (36.96590 amu)(0.2423) = 35.453 amu This is called a weighted average because it takes into account the masses of each isotope and the relative number of each of those isotopes in the sample.


Ions are charged particles (positively or negatively) In a neutral atom (uncharged) the number of protons is equal to the number of electrons, however in an ion these are not equal and therefore the atom is charged. Example: Li has 3 protons and 3 electrons; Li+ has 3 protons and 2 electrons Mg has 12 protons and 12 electrons; Mg2+ has 12 protons and 10 electrons Cl has 17 protons and 17 electrons; Cl- has 17 protons and 18 electrons Notice that only the number of electrons changes when forming an ion from a neutral atom. If the number of protons were to change the identity of the atom would also change.