Atom

Atoms and molecules as depicted in John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy vol. 1 (1808)
The Geiger–Marsden experiment:
Left: Expected results: alpha particles passing through the plum pudding model of the atom with negligible deflection.
Right: Observed results: a small portion of the particles were deflected by the concentrated positive charge of the nucleus.
The Bohr model of the atom, with an electron making instantaneous "quantum leaps" from one orbit to another with gain or loss of energy. This model of electrons in orbits is obsolete.
The binding energy needed for a nucleon to escape the nucleus, for various isotopes
A potential well, showing, according to classical mechanics, the minimum energy V(x) needed to reach each position x. Classically, a particle with energy E is constrained to a range of positions between x1 and x2.
3D views of some hydrogen-like atomic orbitals showing probability density and phase (g orbitals and higher are not shown)
This diagram shows the half-life (T½) of various isotopes with Z protons and N neutrons.
These electron's energy levels (not to scale) are sufficient for ground states of atoms up to cadmium (5s2 4d10) inclusively. Do not forget that even the top of the diagram is lower than an unbound electron state.
An example of absorption lines in a spectrum
Graphic illustrating the formation of a Bose–Einstein condensate
Scanning tunneling microscope image showing the individual atoms making up this gold (100) surface. The surface atoms deviate from the bulk crystal structure and arrange in columns several atoms wide with pits between them (See surface reconstruction).
Periodic table showing the origin of each element. Elements from carbon up to sulfur may be made in small stars by the alpha process. Elements beyond iron are made in large stars with slow neutron capture (s-process). Elements heavier than iron may be made in neutron star mergers or supernovae after the r-process.

Smallest unit of ordinary matter that forms a chemical element.

- Atom
Atoms and molecules as depicted in John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy vol. 1 (1808)

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The quark content of a proton. The color assignment of individual quarks is arbitrary, but all three colors must be present. Forces between quarks are mediated by gluons.

Proton

Stable subatomic particle, symbol, H+, or 1H+ with a positive electric charge of +1e elementary charge.

Stable subatomic particle, symbol, H+, or 1H+ with a positive electric charge of +1e elementary charge.

The quark content of a proton. The color assignment of individual quarks is arbitrary, but all three colors must be present. Forces between quarks are mediated by gluons.
Ernest Rutherford at the first Solvay Conference, 1911
Proton detected in an isopropanol cloud chamber
Protium, the most common isotope of hydrogen, consists of one proton and one electron (it has no neutrons). The term "hydrogen ion" implies that that H-atom has lost its one electron, causing only a proton to remain. Thus, in chemistry, the terms "proton" and "hydrogen ion" (for the protium isotope) are used synonymously

One or more protons are present in the nucleus of every atom.

A simplified representation of a helium atom, having an estimated (calculated) diameter of 62 picometres

Picometre

Unit of length in the metric system, equal to 1 m, or one trillionth (1⁄1,000,000,000,000) of a metre, which is the SI base unit of length.

Unit of length in the metric system, equal to 1 m, or one trillionth (1⁄1,000,000,000,000) of a metre, which is the SI base unit of length.

A simplified representation of a helium atom, having an estimated (calculated) diameter of 62 picometres

Atoms are between 62 and 520 pm in diameter, and the typical length of a carbon–carbon single bond is 154 pm.

Induced fission reaction. A neutron is absorbed by a uranium-235 nucleus, turning it briefly into an excited uranium-236 nucleus, with the excitation energy provided by the kinetic energy of the neutron plus the forces that bind the neutron. The uranium-236, in turn, splits into fast-moving lighter elements (fission products) and releases several free neutrons, one or more "prompt gamma rays" (not shown) and a (proportionally) large amount of energy.

Nuclear fission

Induced fission reaction. A neutron is absorbed by a uranium-235 nucleus, turning it briefly into an excited uranium-236 nucleus, with the excitation energy provided by the kinetic energy of the neutron plus the forces that bind the neutron. The uranium-236, in turn, splits into fast-moving lighter elements (fission products) and releases several free neutrons, one or more "prompt gamma rays" (not shown) and a (proportionally) large amount of energy.
A visual representation of an induced nuclear fission event where a slow-moving neutron is absorbed by the nucleus of a uranium-235 atom, which fissions into two fast-moving lighter elements (fission products) and additional neutrons. Most of the energy released is in the form of the kinetic velocities of the fission products and the neutrons.
Fission product yields by mass for thermal neutron fission of U-235, Pu-239, a combination of the two typical of current nuclear power reactors, and U-233 used in the thorium cycle.
The stages of binary fission in a liquid drop model. Energy input deforms the nucleus into a fat "cigar" shape, then a "peanut" shape, followed by binary fission as the two lobes exceed the short-range nuclear force attraction distance, then are pushed apart and away by their electrical charge. In the liquid drop model, the two fission fragments are predicted to be the same size. The nuclear shell model allows for them to differ in size, as usually experimentally observed.
Animation of a Coulomb explosion in the case of a cluster of positively charged nuclei, akin to a cluster of fission fragments. Hue level of color
is proportional to (larger) nuclei charge. Electrons (smaller) on this time-scale are seen only stroboscopically and the hue level is their kinetic energy
The "curve of binding energy": A graph of binding energy per nucleon of common isotopes.
A schematic nuclear fission chain reaction. 1. A uranium-235 atom absorbs a neutron and fissions into two new atoms (fission fragments), releasing three new neutrons and some binding energy. 2. One of those neutrons is absorbed by an atom of uranium-238 and does not continue the reaction. Another neutron is simply lost and does not collide with anything, also not continuing the reaction. However, the one neutron does collide with an atom of uranium-235, which then fissions and releases two neutrons and some binding energy. 3. Both of those neutrons collide with uranium-235 atoms, each of which fissions and releases between one and three neutrons, which can then continue the reaction.
The cooling towers of the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant, in Germany.
The mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on 9 August 1945 rose over 18 km above the bomb's hypocenter. An estimated 39,000 people were killed by the atomic bomb, of whom 23,145–28,113 were Japanese factory workers, 2,000 were Korean slave laborers, and 150 were Japanese combatants.
Hahn and Meitner in 1912
Experimental apparatus similar to that with which Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discovered nuclear fission in 1938. The apparatus would not have been on the same table or in the same room.
Drawing of the first artificial reactor, Chicago Pile-1.

Nuclear fission is a reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller nuclei.

An explanation of the superscripts and subscripts seen in atomic number notation. Atomic number is the number of protons, and therefore also the total positive charge, in the atomic nucleus.

Atomic number

Charge number of an atomic nucleus.

Charge number of an atomic nucleus.

An explanation of the superscripts and subscripts seen in atomic number notation. Atomic number is the number of protons, and therefore also the total positive charge, in the atomic nucleus.
The Rutherford–Bohr model of the hydrogen atom or a hydrogen-like ion (Z > 1). In this model it is an essential feature that the photon energy (or frequency) of the electromagnetic radiation emitted (shown) when an electron jumps from one orbital to another be proportional to the mathematical square of atomic charge (Z2). Experimental measurement by Henry Moseley of this radiation for many elements (from ) showed the results as predicted by Bohr. Both the concept of atomic number and the Bohr model were thereby given scientific credence.
Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, creator of the periodic table.
Niels Bohr, creator of the Bohr model.
Henry Moseley in his lab.

For ordinary nuclei, this is equal to the proton number (np) or the number of protons found in the nucleus for every atom of that element.

Examples of Lewis dot-style representations of chemical bonds between carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O). Lewis dot diagrams were an early attempt to describe chemical bonding and are still widely used today.

Chemical bond

Compare molecular binding, which often includes chemical bonding.

Compare molecular binding, which often includes chemical bonding.

Examples of Lewis dot-style representations of chemical bonds between carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O). Lewis dot diagrams were an early attempt to describe chemical bonding and are still widely used today.
Crystal structure of sodium chloride (NaCl) with sodium cations in and chloride anions  in . The yellow stipples represent the electrostatic force between the ions of opposite charge.
Non-polar covalent bonds in methane (CH4). The Lewis structure shows electrons shared between C and H atoms.
Two p-orbitals forming a pi-bond.
Adduct of ammonia and boron trifluoride

A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atoms, ions or molecules that enables the formation of chemical compounds.

Electric field of a positive and a negative point charge

Electric charge

Physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field.

Physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field.

Electric field of a positive and a negative point charge
Diagram showing field lines and equipotentials around an electron, a negatively charged particle. In an electrically neutral atom, the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons (which are positively charged), resulting in a net zero overall charge
Coulomb's torsion balance

In ordinary matter, negative charge is carried by electrons, and positive charge is carried by the protons in the nuclei of atoms.

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) image of a PTCDA molecule, in which the five six-carbon rings are visible.

Molecule

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) image of a PTCDA molecule, in which the five six-carbon rings are visible.
A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings.
AFM image of 1,5,9-trioxo-13-azatriangulene and its chemical structure.
A covalent bond forming H2 (right) where two hydrogen atoms share the two electrons
Sodium and fluorine undergoing a redox reaction to form sodium fluoride. Sodium loses its outer electron to give it a stable electron configuration, and this electron enters the fluorine atom exothermically.
3D (left and center) and 2D (right) representations of the terpenoid molecule atisane
Structure and STM image of a "cyanostar" dendrimer molecule.
Hydrogen can be removed from individual H2TPP molecules by applying excess voltage to the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM, a); this removal alters the current-voltage (I-V) curves of TPP molecules, measured using the same STM tip, from diode like (red curve in b) to resistor like (green curve). Image (c) shows a row of TPP, H2TPP and TPP molecules. While scanning image (d), excess voltage was applied to H2TPP at the black dot, which instantly removed hydrogen, as shown in the bottom part of (d) and in the rescan image (e). Such manipulations can be used in single-molecule electronics.

A molecule is a group of two or more atoms held together by attractive forces known as chemical bonds; depending on context, the term may or may not include ions which satisfy this criterion.

Crystals of amethyst quartz

Crystal

Crystals of amethyst quartz
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic arrangement; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called "crystallites" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no periodic arrangement even microscopically.
As a halite crystal is growing, new atoms can very easily attach to the parts of the surface with rough atomic-scale structure and many dangling bonds. Therefore, these parts of the crystal grow out very quickly (yellow arrows). Eventually, the whole surface consists of smooth, stable faces, where new atoms cannot as easily attach themselves.
Ice crystals
Fossil shell with calcite crystals
Vertical cooling crystallizer in a beet sugar factory.
Two types of crystallographic defects. Top right: edge dislocation. Bottom right: screw dislocation.
Twinned pyrite crystal group.
The material holmium–magnesium–zinc (Ho–Mg–Zn) forms quasicrystals, which can take on the macroscopic shape of a pentagonal dodecahedron. Only quasicrystals can take this 5-fold symmetry. The edges are 2 mm long.
Insulin crystals grown in earth orbit.
Hoar frost: A type of ice crystal (picture taken from a distance of about 5 cm).
Gallium, a metal that easily forms large crystals.
An apatite crystal sits front and center on cherry-red rhodochroite rhombs, purple fluorite cubes, quartz and a dusting of brass-yellow pyrite cubes.
Boules of silicon, like this one, are an important type of industrially-produced single crystal.
A specimen consisting of a bornite-coated chalcopyrite crystal nestled in a bed of clear quartz crystals and lustrous pyrite crystals. The bornite-coated crystal is up to 1.5 cm across.
Needle-like millerite crystals partially encased in calcite crystal and oxidized on their surfaces to zaratite; from the Devonian Milwaukee Formation of Wisconsin

A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents (such as atoms, molecules, or ions) are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions.

Steam and liquid water are two different forms of the same chemical (pure) substance: water.

Chemical compound

Steam and liquid water are two different forms of the same chemical (pure) substance: water.

A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one element held together by chemical bonds.

The Space Shuttle Main Engine burnt hydrogen with oxygen, producing a nearly invisible flame at full thrust.

Hydrogen

Chemical element with the symbol H and atomic number 1.

Chemical element with the symbol H and atomic number 1.

The Space Shuttle Main Engine burnt hydrogen with oxygen, producing a nearly invisible flame at full thrust.
Depiction of a hydrogen atom with size of central proton shown, and the atomic diameter shown as about twice the Bohr model radius (image not to scale)
Hydrogen gas is colorless and transparent, here contained in a glass ampoule.
Phase diagram of hydrogen. The temperature and pressure scales are logarithmic, so one unit corresponds to a 10x change. The left edge corresponds to 105 Pa, which is about atmospheric pressure.
A sample of sodium hydride
Hydrogen discharge (spectrum) tube
Deuterium discharge (spectrum) tube
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier
Hydrogen emission spectrum lines in the visible range. These are the four visible lines of the Balmer series
NGC 604, a giant region of ionized hydrogen in the Triangulum Galaxy
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For the most common isotope of hydrogen (symbol 1H) each atom has one proton, one electron, and no neutrons.