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
Moving across periods on the periodic table from left to right, the atoms tend decrease in radius size because each atom has more protons than the atom before it, meaning there is more of an attractive force in the nucleus that pulls the electrons closer to the center. Even though there are both more protons and electrons, the attractive force of the protons wins out and makes the radius of the entire atom smaller.Full Answer >
The subatomic particles of protons and neutrons are found in the nucleus of an atom. Protons are particles with a positive charge, while neutrons have no charge. Electrons, which have a negative charge, are particles that can found orbiting outside the nucleus of an atom.Full Answer >
The atomic number of an atom represents the number of protons found in the nucleus of that atom. Elements are identified by their atomic numbers because each element has a different number of protons in its nucleus.Full Answer >
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 >