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Atoms and

Chemical Foundations

Atoms and Elements

Element - Substances that can not
be broken down further by ordinary
chemical means
Atoms - The smallest particle of an
element that retains the properties
of the element

Elements consist of tiny particles called
Atoms retain their identity in reactions
They do not change into other types of
Carbon stays carbon, Oxygen stays oxygen

In a compound, atoms of two or more

elements are combined

Atoms have parts

Atoms are composed of protons,
neutrons and electrons
All of the parts of the atom stay
together as that atom in chemical

Elements represent the different
types of atoms that are known
Come in solid, liquid and gas forms
at earths normal temperatures

Top Ten

Most Abundant Elements on


Most Common Elements

A collection of argon

Diatomic Elements

Nitrogen gas contains N2 molecules.

Oxygen gas contains O2 molecules.

Representation of NO,
NO2, and N2O.

History of the discovery of

the atom
300 BC in Greece
School of thought that matter is made
up of tiny indivisible, invisible,
indestructable, fundamental units of
matter called atmos
Democritus of Abdera most well known
Did no experiments
No proof

Antoine Lavosier made observations
and did experiments resulting in the
Law of Conservation of Mass
Law of Conservation of Mass
Matter can not be created or destroyed
Mass of materials before the chemical
reaction is the same mass after the

1799 - Proust
Joseph Proust showed that the
proportion by mass of the elements
in a compound is always the same
Now called the Law of Definite
Part of our definition of a chemical any substance with a definite

John Dalton
English School Teacher
Alchemists were trying to change different
metals into gold
Wanted to learn in what ratios that different
elements combine
Performed experiments
Formulated theories to explain his
Proposed his theories in 1808
Based on the Greek idea of the atom

Key idea - Daltons Atomic

All matter is made of indivisible,
invisible, and indestructible
particles called atoms
Atoms of the same element are
Atoms of different elements differ in
their physical and chemical

Daltons Atomic Theory

Atoms of different elements combine
in simple whole number ratios to form
Chemical Reactions occur when atoms
are separated, joined or rearranged.
Atoms of one element are NEVER
changed into atoms of another
element as a result of a reaction

William Crooks developed the
Crooks Tube
A tube with sealed gases and metal
plates at the end
Run a current through the metal, and
a glowing beam forms

Schematic of a cathode
ray tube.

1897 - Sir J.J.Thompson

Thompson proposed that the cathode ray
formed in the tube is a stream of negatively
charged particles
Key idea - ELECTRONS
Showed that all cathode rays are electrons
regardless of the type of gas in the tube
Atoms have parts that are negatively charged
Since atoms are neutral, they must also have
positively charged areas
Gave rise to the plum pudding model of the

Plum Pudding model of an


1886 - Goldstein
E. Goldstein discovered a positively
charged particle.
Called them PROTONS
Work was largely ignored

1909 - Ernst Rutherford

Rutherford physicist who experimented
with the positively charged particle
He figured
Atoms have no charge
Electrical charges are properties of matter
Electrical charges exist in single whole
number units + or - (no fractions)
Electrical Charges cancel each other,
therefore a + and a - together = neutral

Rutherfords experiment.

Results of foil experiment if Plum

Pudding model had been correct.

Actual Results.

Rutherfords model
All of the mass of the positive
particles (protons) is at the center
region of the atom
Center region called the NUCLEUS
Electrons surround the nucleus in a

1913 - Niels Bohr

Danish Physicist
Rutherfords model did not work
because the electrons are so small
compared to the positive mass in
the center of the atom

Bohrs Atom
There are certain energy levels in the
space of the electron cloud that
mathematically allow the electron to
stay in the cloud (not crash into the
Key idea - There are certain ORBITS in
which an electron can travel around
the nucleus without losing energy

Bohrs atom cont

Suggested circular orbits
The farther away from the nucleus,
the higher the energy level
Under normal conditions, electrons
are arranged in the GROUND
STATE. In the ground state, the
electrons occupy the lowest energy
level closest to the nucleus

All models have problems

All models are not exactly correct,
but they lead to further science
and discovery
All have important key ideas

We now know
Atoms are made up of subparticles
Atoms are divisible, but not by
ordinary chemical means
Atoms of elements can vary
Electrons reside in ORBITALS, not