Describe The Physical Properties of Atoms and Subatomic Particles {{ currentPage ? currentPage.title : "" }}

Since it serves as the cornerstone for all other chemistry topics to be covered in the course, understanding the structure of an atom is a crucial idea to grasp in the subject. Additionally, this issue has a significant weight in the entrance tests. Doing well is guaranteed to result in a higher rank after fully comprehending the concept, which shouldn't be too difficult.

What an Atom's Structure Is

A particle that cannot be divided into smaller particles is called an "atom" in language. However, the word "atom" refers to several subatomic particles in contemporary scientific jargon. Electrons, protons, and neutrons are the elements that make up an atom. Here is a detailed explanation of these particles.


The smallest of these three particles by a wide margin is the electron. The electron is too tiny to be measured using today's methods, weighing 9.11 x 10-31 kg and having a negative electrical charge. In most cases, the negative electric charges' attraction to one another holds the electrons to the positively charged nucleus. An atom becomes uniformly positively or negatively charged if the number of electrons it carries is more or smaller than its atomic number. Ions are defined as charged atoms.


The mass of the protons is 1836 times more than the electrons, and they have a positive charge. Their mass is 1.6726 x 10-27 kg. The quantity of protons contained in an atom is indicated by the atomic number.


The heaviest of the three particles that make up an atom is a neutron, with a mass of 1.6929 x 10-27 kg. The mass of the neutrons, which is 1839 times that of the electron, is not electrically charged. Although the surface of these particles cannot be precisely determined, neutrons and protons have similar sizes.

The internal structure of the electrons makes their elementary particles. Nevertheless, quark-based composite particles known as protons and neutrons are found in these fundamental building blocks. There are two different types of quarks in atoms, and each has a little electric charge. Two up quarks, each having a charge of +2/3, make up a proton, while one down quark, with a charge of -1/3, completes the particle. One up quark and two down quarks are the building blocks of neutrons.

Gluons, a member of the gauge boson family, are the intermediaries of a strong force that holds the quarks together (elementary particles that mediate physical forces). The protons and neutrons are joined in the nucleus by the nuclear force. The nuclear force is a remnant of the vital force with somewhat altered range characteristics.


A small atomic nucleus comprises all the protons and neutrons that hold an atom together. Nucleons refer to them as a group. An attractive potential with a short range known as the solid residual force holds the nucleons together. Compared to the atom's radius, the nucleus radius is significantly smaller.

Anything smaller than an atom is referred to as a subatomic particle. Protons, electrons, and neutrons may be used to break down an atom into its three subatomic components.

The Definition of Subatomic Particles

It has long been assumed that atoms are the last building blocks of matter and that they are incapable of further division. The tests performed in the second half of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century showed that the atom is not the ultimate particle. Scientists were able to find subatomic particles thanks to their ongoing research.

The discovery of electrons and protons was sparked by the inability of Dalton's atomic theory to account for several data. Neutrons were discovered as a result of further research. Subatomic particles, which comprise the proton, electron, and neutron in most cases, are what make up an atom.

Aspects of Subatomic Particle Discovery

This paragraph discusses the three fundamental subatomic particles as well as some of their key characteristics.


Nucleons, made up of protons and neutrons, are collectively referred to as the atomic nucleus. The following list includes some crucial details about the discovery and characteristics of protons.

In an atom, there are precise as many protons as electrons.

  • Protons are positively charged subatomic particles.

  • Ernest Rutherford holds the distinction of discovering protons.

  • A hydrogen atoms electron can be taken away to make a proton.

  • 1.676 * 10-24 grams is the mass of a proton.

  • A proton possesses a charge of +1.602 * 10-19 Coulombs.



The atom's nucleus is surrounded by subatomic particles called electrons. Either the loss or the gain of electrons can produce ions. The process of chemical bonding involves the interaction of electrons from several atoms. The following list includes some details about the discovery and characteristics of electrons.

  • Subatomic particles called electrons is having a negative charge.

  • All elements have an atomic number of protons and electrons that is the same.

  • Since he was the first to calculate the mass and charge of an electron precisely, J. J. Thomson is given credit for electrons discovery.

  • When compared to the mass of a proton, an electron's mass is minimal. • An electron's charge is determined to be -1.602 * 10-19 Coulombs, giving it a mass that is (1/1837) times that of a proton.

  • Neutrons

  • The nucleons are composed of neutrons and protons. In contrast to protons and electrons, neutrons are neutral particles; this is why they are given their name. Below, we talk about neutrons' discovery and general characteristics.

  • The number of neutrons in the nuclei of two distinct isotopes of an element differs, which affects how many neutrons are present in each nucleus.

  • Neutrons are neutrally charged subatomic particles.

  • In 1932, James Chadwick made the neutron discovery.

  • The mass of a neutron is 1.676 * 10-24 grams, and they were found in an experiment where a skinny beryllium strip was hit with alpha particles.


This covers the three primary subatomic particles discovery and their fundamental characteristics. However, the finding of more basic particles is a result of developments in quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Many more discoveries and innovations have their roots in the discovery of subatomic particles.

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