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Questions & Answers

What is the structure of atoms

A: The structure of the atom is modelled around what we call the “Planetary Model”, suggested by Rutherford. It was a remarkable move in the atom’s world, because it is in this model that the different subatomic particles were first and foremost positioned.

At the center, we have the nucleus, which contains bundles of protons and neutrons (collectively called the nucleons). Because the proton is positively charged (+e) and the neutron is neutral, the nucleus has an overall positive charge.

Surrounding the nucleus, we have negatively charged (-e) electrons whizzing around in fixed orbits. You can picture it as the planets orbiting the Sun!

While the nucleus itself is positively charged, we have to remind ourselves that in a regular atom, the number of electrons always equals the number of protons. The positive charge cancels out the negative charge, meaning the whole atom has an overall charge of zero.

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