A nucleus of an atom can be compared to the sun of a solar system because the nucleus, like the sun, is the largest part of an atom and its electrons orbit around it, much like planets in a solar system. Atoms can also gain or lose electrons similarly to how stars can gain or lose planets.Know More
However, it is important to note a few areas where atoms and solar systems differ. Stars keep planets in orbit through gravity, while nuclei hold electrons through nuclear forces. In addition, experts often emphasize that electrons are not in orbit in the same way that planets are. The location of an electron is probabilistic, so it is not possible to know exactly where it is located at any particular time. In some ways, electrons are in multiple locations at once and they only exist at a specific point if they are observed or otherwise forced to "choose" a position.
However, experts still generally use the solar system model as a means of making the concepts understandable. Since atoms typically operate differently than objects people encounter on a daily basis, analogies make them understandable, and the orbit analogy has proven popular throughout the years.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
The atomic radius describes the size of the atom, and although there is no standard definition for the value, it is the distance between the nucleus and the outermost electrons. Atomic radii tend to increase moving down the periodic table, but they decrease moving left to right across the table because electrons are more tightly packed for elements that are closer to the right side.Full Answer >
The number next to isotopes signifies the sum of the number of protons plus the number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. For a particular element, the number of protons never changes, but the number of neutrons can vary.Full Answer >
Nuclear energy is stored in the nucleus of an atom and holds the nucleus together. Substantial amounts of nuclear energy are released when splitting or fusing nuclei.Full Answer >
The net electric charge of the nucleus of an atom is positive due to the presence of charge-carrying particles known as protons. The outer shell of the atom is negatively charged as a result of carrying electrons in a diffuse cloud. Atoms always have a net neutral electric charge.Full Answer >