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Rather, they are constantly reacting with other atoms to form and to break down more complex substances. What is the main source of the difference in chemistry between an atom from one element and an atom from another element?

Your pedagogical quibble is well taken: these are indeed questions that always get asked and that I have to answer in these articles. It’s at this point that quantum physics has to be confronted (as it was by the physicists themselves at the turn of the century).All atoms (except hydrogen and helium with their single electron shells) are most stable when there are exactly eight electrons in their valence shell. So the correct statement is not quite that “electrons are point-like” but that “electrons are not known not to be point-like”. Maybe all the baggage carried along with the word, “particle” is an obstacle to a deeper understanding. Answer: the properties of its outermost electrons, which are determined by the total number of electrons for each element, i.

For example, in the past, the only options for a patient with one or more tumors in the liver were surgery and chemotherapy (the administration of drugs to treat cancer). The atoms that behave this way (either shedding electrons or stealing electrons to emulate noble gases) are the ones that can become ions under certain conditions. PET can reveal some cancerous masses because cancer cells consume glucose at a high rate to fuel their rapid reproduction.From the perspective of chemistry, the atomic number for a given kind of atom is determined by the amount of protons in the nucleus of that type of atom. In my many years as a physics student I have gotten the impression that, for all the lip service paid to the contrary, the three least favorite words of most physicists are “I don’t know. In some such cases, an interventional radiologist can treat the tumors by disrupting their blood supply, which they need if they are to continue to grow.

I was going to answer them later, but your point is that probably I need to bring them up — at least pose them, with links to answers — in this article directly. In other words, an atom of hydrogen is a unit of hydrogen—the smallest amount of hydrogen that can exist. Then the size of a proton would be given by the scale at which particles stopped scattering off the ‘proton’ and began to interact with the individual quarks within it? Whereas the electron’s size (if it has one) is too small to measure, and its mass is so small that the electron can spread out over a whole atom, the nucleus, on the contrary, has a measured and well-known size, and its mass is so large — more than 99.

In reference to the part after the electron radius, I personally also would leave out remarks how weird or bizzare or hard to understand something is, because with that, you are creating a kind of “thinking-barrier” – at least for some people. Nor do I find it convincing to blame the failure to explain these things on the mathematical limitations of the audience. Size is not a characteristic of an object; it is a characteristic of the interaction between a probing object and the object that it is being probed , and it often comes with ambiguities. In chemical processes, the atomic nuclei remain at the centers of their atoms, and never come anywhere near each other, relatively speaking. It is a veritable cliche borne of quantum theory’s founding fathers that to utter an understanding of atomic reality based on quantum theory is to reveal one’s ignorance.

Again, a look at the periodic table reveals that all of the elements in the second row, from lithium to neon, have just two electron shells.The PET camera reveals to the medical team which of the patient’s tissues are taking up the most glucose. I think it is not quite correct to say that the nucleus is not involved in chemistry, because the mass of the nucleus is sometimes important.

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