An atom is stable because of a balanced nucleus that does not contain excess energy. If the forces between the protons and the neutrons in the nucleus are unbalanced, then the atom is unstable. Stable atoms retain their form indefinitely, while unstable atoms undergo radioactive decay. Most naturally occurring atoms are stable and do not decay.Know More
The nucleus of an atom is made up of protons and neutrons. The forces inside the nucleus of a stable atom are balanced because the nucleus contains the proper number of protons and neutrons. These atoms are theoretically resistant to all forms of decay except proton decay, which is a hypothetical form of decay that has never been observed in a laboratory or in nature.
Unstable atoms are radioactive and decay after a certain amount of time. Different unstable atoms decay through different processes, such as the ejection of a proton or a neutron; the conversion of a proton to a neutron or a neutron to a proton; and the emission of the excess energy in the form of photons. In many cases, the resulting atom is still unstable. This atom then decays again to a new atom. The process continues in a decay chain until a stable form is reached.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
Niels Bohr and Ernest Rutherford were the scientists who developed the planetary model of the atom, also referred to as the Bohr model. In 1913, Bohr published a theory, which was based on a previous theory of Rutherford’s.Full Answer >
An atom that has lost electrons has a positive charge. These atoms are now called ions, more specifically cations. In general, cations are electropositive elements that hang onto their electrons very loosely.Full Answer >
The highest occupied level is the outermost level of the atom that contains electrons. Atoms have several levels much like a house, and each level of the atom fills with electrons level by level starting at the lowest. The first level of the atom fills up first. Then, the second level fills up and so forth. Not every atom has all of its levels occupied by electrons. For some atoms, the highest occupied level is the first level, while for others it is the third level.Full Answer >
An example of an atom is a single particle of any element on the periodic table. Carbon, for instance, consists solely of identical carbon atoms. Atoms are the smallest distinct unit of matter, and they cannot be broken down by chemical means.Full Answer >