Atomic Structure Essay

The atomic number of a given element defines the identity of that element. The atomic number is equal to the number of protons in an atom. The amount of protons in an atom is fixed and cannot change without changing what element it is an atom of. The atomic mass is a sum of the number of protons and neutrons in an atom. To figure out how many neutrons in an atom, subtract the atomic mass from the atomic number. The atomic mass is not fixed because an atom can gain or give up electrons. An atom has the same number of electrons as protons. However, as previously mentioned, the number of electrons that an atom has can change. When an atom gains or loses electrons it becomes an ion. An ion is a charged atom. Ions have a different number of electrons than normally expected in the atom of that particular element. An ion is either positively charged (cation) or negatively charged (anion). A cation has less electrons than protons and therefore, because protons have a positive charge, the ion has a positive charge. A anion has more electrons than protons and therefore, because electrons have a negative charge, the ion is more negative. Protons have a positive charge, neutrons have a neutral charge and electrons have a negative charge. An isotope is an atom that has the same number of protons as another atom of the same element but has a different number of neutrons. These two atoms are still the same type of element, only the one with a different number of neutrons than expected is an isotope. Isotopes can either have more neutrons or less neutrons than the atom is expected.

Everything on the periodic table that is located to the left of the staircase is a metal, everything to the right of the staircase is a nonmetal. Elements group on the periodic table from a variety of properties. The Atomic numbers' and atomic masses of elements on the periodic table increase from left to right and from top to bottom. The number of orbitals increases from left to right and is determined by subtracting 10 from the element's group number. Electronegativity increases from left to right and decreases from top to bottom on the periodic table, however, the noble gases do not follow this pattern. Atomic size decreases from left to right and increases from top to bottom. The atomic size does this because the more electronegativity an atom has, the closer its electrons are pulled in towards the nucleus.
Electronegativity is the ability of an atom to gain and hold onto an electron. Atoms with the most electronegativity have more valence electrons and less rings. Electronegativity increases from left to right and decreases from top to bottom. The more rings an atom has, the further the valence electrons will be from the center of the atom and therefore the less the atom will be able to attract them in closer to its nucleus, this is why electronegativity decreases from top to bottom. Atoms have difficulty holding onto electrons the further the electrons get away from the nucleus. Electronegativity increases from left to right because the amount of valence electrons that atoms have in each group also increases from left to right. Atoms that are more electronegative have more valence electrons and fewer atomic shells, or orbitals. Florine is the most electronegative element.
The Octet Rule is the property of atoms to seek either two or eight electrons. The alkali metals all have one valence electron and naturally wants to give that valence electron away in order to have eight electrons in the outer shell. Nonmetals want to receive electrons in order to have eight valence electrons. In a non-polar-covalent bond, atoms share eight electrons in their outer shell. In polar covalent bonds, the electrons spend more time around the larger molecule there fore the end with the larger molecule has a negative polarity. Ionic bonds form when one or more electron from an atom move to another atom in order to satisfy the octet rule.
Nearly all of the above was taught in class and recorded in my notes, but the most effective tool for learning it was the periodic table assignment where it was instructed to label trends in the periodic table. I had been planning on studying in a similar way and ended up including more information on the back than the assignment required. By using my notes and looking up anything that I didn't understand on the Internet, I gained a very thorough understanding of the topic. When I finished labeling trends and adding notes to the back, I felt as though I could still add a lot more information. This told me that I had learned the material well. At first, the concept of electronegativity was difficult for me, so when I went home with a free-write assignment on the topic I had to make sure I had a good understanding of the subject, otherwise I would be unable to accurately complete the assignment. I watched several videos on youtube about electronegativity which ended up being a great help. Each video was slightly different and each had information that the others lacked, so between repetition and the presentation of new information, I was able to clarify and gain a full understanding of electronegativity. I have used this technique many times since and have found it to be extremely helpful because I will often think of questions after I leave class that I would have liked to have known the answer to. All of these learning strategies have truly helped me to connect the notes and handouts from class to gain a better understanding of electronegativity and the many other topics that I have learned about in this unit.
How atoms behave, how they bond and why they bond is an extremely important for understanding how and why everything happens or will happen. Starting with the smallest known unit of matter is probably the best way to begin learning about something. As you build on those smaller units, you begin to see emergent properties that were not present at a smaller level. For example, the atoms of hydrogen or oxygen in a water molecule have no special properties on their own, but when they have a polar covalent bond, they now express the characteristics of adhesion and cohesion. As demonstrated by this example, every aspect of atomic actions, bonds and trends gives other materials and reactions that we deal with every day, their properties. Electronegativity is responsible for the occurrence of every chemical reaction that occurs and is therefore very important for understanding how anything happens down to its simplest level of existence. Another important connection is the link that I often find between what I have done in class and my daily activities of another class. For instance, this semester I am taking Electronics II. It is convenient that at the same time I was learning about charges (ions) in electric circuits, we talked about ions that same day in Biology. I was really glad because a lot of times, the things that you learn in one class have no reverence to anything else in any other class. I felt like I had a good grip on the subject because I was able to use recently acquired knowledge to my advantage.

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