Atoms are the basic unit for building molecules. Atoms join together with other atoms to create compounds.
Atoms are composed of neutrons, electrons and protons. Electrons have a negative charge, protons have a positive charge and neutrons have no charge.
The protons and neutrons are located in the nucleus of the atom, and the electrons orbit the nucleus.
The size of an atom can only be estimated and is thought to be as large as 0.3 nanometers. A neutron is about the same mass as protons. Protons and neutrons are more than 1,800 times bigger than an electron.
The first person to conceive of an atom was John Dalton, an English chemist. In 1897,
J.J. Thomson, an English physicist, was the first to propose a model of the atom.
There are 90 atoms that are formed without human intervention. Laboratories have succeeded in creating an additional 25.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Christian Guthier
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