What is atom?

Atom

The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons (except in the case of hydrogen-1, which is the only stable nuclide with no neutrons). The electrons of an atom are bound to the nucleus by the electromagnetic force. Likewise, a group of atoms can remain bound to each other by chemical bonds based on the same force, forming a molecule. An atom containing an equal number of protons and electrons is electrically neutral, otherwise it is positively or negatively charged and is known as an ion. An atom is classified according to the number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus: the number of protons determines the chemical element, and the number of neutrons determines the isotope of the element.

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Some articles on atom:

Atom - Origin and Current State - Rare and Theoretical Forms
... The most likely candidate for a stable superheavy atom, unbihexium, has 126 protons and 184 neutrons ... theories may offer an explanation.) As a result, no antimatter atoms have been discovered in nature ... Other exotic atoms have been created by replacing one of the protons, neutrons or electrons with other particles that have the same charge ...

More definitions of "atom":

  • (noun): (physics and chemistry) the smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element.

Famous quotes containing the word atom:

    Thank God! none of my children have an atom of poetry in their composition!
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    The flame from the angel’s sword in the garden of Eden has been catalysed into the atom bomb; God’s thunderbolt became blunted, so man’s dunderbolt has become the steel star of destruction.
    Sean O’Casey (1884–1964)