About This Chapter
Understanding the Atom and Atomic Structure - Chapter Summary
The atom is the basic building block of all matter, and these lessons will teach you about the atom's structure and how it functions. Expert instructors explain atomic theory, examine the types of bonds and describe the law of conservation. You will learn to calculate atomic numbers and use the mole to count atoms. You can study at home on your home computer or you can study away from home on your mobile device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. By the end of this chapter, you will understand the following:
- What the parts of the atom are
- How to explain the difference between atomic number and mass number
- Who are the key people who impacted early atomic theory, such as Dalton and Rutherford
- What the definition of an isotope is
- What atomic energy levels are
- How to describe the four quantum numbers
- What ionic bonds are
- How to describe the significance of compounds and molecules
- Ways to compare polar vs. non-polar covalent bonds
- How to use atoms and ions in determining molecular formulas
- What elements are
- How to describe the Pauli exclusion principle and other rules relating to atomic structures
- How the law of conservation of mass is used
- What diamagnetism and paramagnetism are
- How to explain the de Broglie hypothesis
- What the significance of the gold foil experiment is
1. The Atom
Tune into this lesson to find out what matters about matter. What exactly is an atom? And, how do the atoms that make up the elements in the periodic table differ from one another?
2. Atomic Number and Mass Number
Atoms are the basic building blocks of everything around you. In order to really understand how atoms combine to form molecules, it's necessary to be familiar with their structure. In this lesson, we'll dissect atoms so we can see just what really goes into those little building blocks of matter.
3. Early Atomic Theory: Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford and Millikan
Imagine firing a bullet at a piece of tissue paper and having it bounce back at you! You would probably be just as surprised as Rutherford when he discovered the nucleus. In this lesson, we are going to travel back in time and discuss some of the major discoveries in the history of the atom.
4. Isotopes and Average Atomic Mass
When you drink a glass of water, you are actually drinking a combination of heavy water and light water. What's the difference? Is it harmful? This video will explain the difference between the two types of water and go into detail on the significance of the different isotopes of elements.
5. Electron Configurations in Atomic Energy Levels
This lesson will explain what the electrons are doing inside the atom. Tune in to find out how we specify where they are located and how this location description will help us predict an element's properties.
6. Atomic Structures: Pauli Exclusion Principle, Aufbau Principle & Hund's Rule
This lesson discusses the three main rules that govern how electrons fit in the atomic structure by filling the shells, subshells, and orbitals. We will also review the basics of quantum numbers before learning these principles.
7. The Law of Conservation of Mass: Definition, Equation & Examples
Read about the law of conservation of mass, its role in chemistry, and its importance in the universe. Learn the equation, review examples, and test your knowledge of the material with a short quiz.
8. Diamagnetism & Paramagnetism: Definition & Explanation
In this lesson, we learn more about electron configuration through the concepts of diamagnetism and paramagnetism. We will review electron structure in an atom, and define diamagnetism and paramagnetism.
9. Four Quantum Numbers: Principal, Angular Momentum, Magnetic & Spin
Each electron inside of an atom has its own 'address' that consists of four quantum numbers that communicate a great deal of information about that electron. In this lesson, we will be defining each quantum number and explaining how to write a set of quantum numbers for a specific electron.
10. The de Broglie Hypothesis: Definition & Significance
The de Broglie hypothesis states that particles of matter can behave as both waves and particles, just like light. In this lesson, we'll learn the basics of the de Broglie hypothesis and how it related to other theories released at the same time.
11. Ionic Bonds: Definitions and Examples
Did you know that when atoms stick together to form molecules, they gain and lose electrons, making them negatively or positively charged? In this lesson, you will learn how cations and anions form one type of chemical bond called an ionic bond.
12. How Compounds and Molecules Are Built From Elements
Did you know that elements are like people and have different personalities? A few elements are very shy and love to be left alone. Others are very social and prefer to hang out with friends. In this lesson we will discuss how elements build molecules and compounds.
13. Polar and Nonpolar Covalent Bonds: Definitions and Examples
Did you know that some types of chemical bonds behave similarly to the way that children play with toys? In this lesson, you will learn about two types of bonds called polar and nonpolar covalent bonds.
14. Using Atoms and Ions to Determine Molecular Formulas
In this lesson, you will learn how atoms and ions determine molecular formulas. You will understand how molecular formulas tell information about the type and quantity of atoms involved in a molecule. Lastly, we will discuss how to write a molecular formula for an ionic compound.
15. What Are Elements?
Look around you. What do you see? Elements are everywhere. They are the building blocks of all matter on Earth. In this lesson, we will discuss what an element is, how elements are written as symbols, and how elements are the building blocks of all matter.
16. Ernest Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment: Physics Lab
This lesson explains how the Rutherford gold foil experiment was carried out and what it told us about the atom. You can take a short quiz after the lesson to test what you've learned.
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Other chapters within the Physical Science: High School course
- Understanding Matter
- Understanding Gases
- The Periodic Table
- Understanding Chemical Bonding
- Understanding Solutions
- Acids, Bases and Chemical Reactions
- Understanding Motion
- Force, Motion, and Newton's Laws
- Work, Energy, Power, and Thermodynamics
- Waves and Sound in Physical Science
- Light in Physical Science
- Electricity Fundamentals
- The Universe
- Teacher Resources for High School Physical Science