Sie sind auf Seite 1von 5

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, forming a molecule. An atom containing an equal number of protons and electrons is electrically neutral, otherwise it has a positive charge if there are fewer electrons (electron deficiency) or negative charge if there are more electrons (electron excess). A positively or negatively charged atom 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. The name atom comes from the Greek (atomos, "indivisible") from - (a-, "not") and (temn, "I cut"), which means uncuttable, or indivisible, something that cannot be divided further.[3] The concept of an atom as an indivisible component of matter was first proposed by early Indian and Greek philosophers. In the 17th and 18th centuries, chemists provided a physical basis for this idea by showing that certain substances could not be further broken down by chemical methods. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, physicists discovered subatomic components and structure inside the atom, thereby demonstrating that the 'atom' was divisible. The principles of quantum mechanics were used to successfully model the atom. Atoms are minuscule objects with proportionately tiny masses. Atoms can only be observed individually using special instruments such as the scanning tunneling microscope. Over 99.94% of an atom's mass is concentrated in the nucleus, with protons and neutrons having roughly equal mass. Each element has at least one isotope with an unstable nucleus that can undergo radioactive decay. This can result in a transmutation that changes the number of protons or neutrons in a nucleus. Electrons that are bound to atoms possess a set of stable energy levels, or orbitals, and can undergo transitions between them by absorbing or emitting photons that match the energy differences between the levels. The electrons determine the chemical properties of an element, and strongly influence an atom's magnetic properties.

A. History
References to the concept of atoms date back to ancient Greece and India. In India, the jvika, Jain, and Crvka schools of atomism may date back to the 6th century BCE. The Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools later developed theories on how atoms combined into more complex objects. In the West, the references to atoms emerged in the 5th century BCE with Leucippus, whose student, Democritus, systematized his views. In approximately 450 BCE, Democritus coined the term tomos (Greek: ), which means "uncuttable" or "the smallest indivisible particle of matter". Although the Indian and Greek concepts of the atom were based purely on philosophy, modern science has retained the name coined by Democritus. Corpuscularianism is the postulate, expounded in the 13th-century by the alchemist Pseudo-Geber (Geber), sometimes identified with Paul of Taranto, that all physical bodies possess an inner and outer layer of minute particles or corpuscles. Corpuscularianism is similar to the theory of atomism, except that where atoms were supposed to be indivisible, corpuscles could in principle be divided. In this manner, for example, it was theorized that mercury could penetrate into metals and modify their inner structure. Corpuscularianism stayed a dominant theory over the next several hundred years. In 1661, natural philosopher Robert Boyle published The Sceptical Chymist in which he argued that matter was composed of various combinations of different "corpuscules" or atoms, rather than the classical elements of air, earth, fire and water. During the 1670s corpuscularianism was used by Isaac Newton in his development of the corpuscular theory of light.

B. Components
Subatomic particles Though the word atom originally denoted a particle that cannot be cut into smaller particles, in modern scientific usage the atom is composed of various subatomic particles. The constituent particles of an atom are the electron, the proton and the neutron. However, the hydrogen-1 atom has no neutrons and a positive hydrogen ion has no electrons. The electron is by far the least massive of these particles at 9.111031 kg, with a negative electrical charge and a size that is too small to be measured using available techniques. Protons have a positive charge and a mass 1,836 times that of the electron, at 1.67261027 kg, although this can be reduced by changes to the energy binding the proton into an atom. Neutrons have no electrical charge and have a free mass of 1,839 times the mass of electrons, or 1.69291027 kg. Neutrons and protons have comparable dimensions on the order of 2.51015 malthough the 'surface' of these particles is not sharply defined.

In the Standard Model of physics, electrons are truly elementary particles with no internal structure. However, both protons and neutrons are composite particles composed of elementary particles called quarks. There are two types of quarks in atoms, each having a fractional electric charge. Protons are composed of two up quarks (each with charge +23) and one down quark (with a charge of 13). Neutrons consist of one up quark and two down quarks. This distinction accounts for the difference in mass and charge between the two particles. The quarks are held together by the strong interaction (or strong force), which is mediated by gluons. The protons and neutrons, in turn, are held to each other in the nucleus by the nuclear force, which is a residuum of the strong force that has somewhat different range-properties (see the article on the nuclear force for more). The gluon is a member of the family of gauge bosons, which are elementary particles that mediate physical forces. Nucleus All the bound protons and neutrons in an atom make up a tiny atomic nucleus, and are collectively called nucleons. The radius of a nucleus is approximately equal to , where A is the total number of nucleons. This is much smaller than the radius of the atom, which is on the order of 105 fm. The nucleons are bound together by a short-ranged attractive potential called the residual strong force. At distances smaller than 2.5 fm this force is much more powerful than the electrostatic force that causes positively charged protons to repel each other. Atoms of the same element have the same number of protons, called the atomic number. Within a single element, the number of neutrons may vary, determining the isotope of that element. The total number of protons and neutrons determine the nuclide. The number of neutrons relative to the protons determines the stability of the nucleus, with certain isotopes undergoing radioactive decay. The neutron and the proton are different types of fermions. The Pauli exclusion principle is a quantum mechanical effect that prohibits identical fermions, such as multiple protons, from occupying the same quantum physical state at the same time. Thus every proton in the nucleus must occupy a different state, with its own energy level, and the same rule applies to all of the neutrons. This prohibition does not apply to a proton and neutron occupying the same quantum state. For atoms with low atomic numbers, a nucleus that has a different number of protons than neutrons can potentially drop to a lower energy state through a radioactive decay that causes the number of protons and neutrons to more closely match. As a result, atoms with roughly matching numbers of protons and neutrons are more stable against decay. However, with increasing atomic number, the mutual repulsion of the protons requires an increasing proportion of neutrons to maintain the stability of the nucleus, which modifies this trend. Thus, there are no stable nuclei with equal proton and neutron numbers above atomic number

Z = 20 (calcium); and as Z increases toward the heaviest nuclei, the ratio of neutrons per proton required for stability increases to about 1.5.

Illustration of a nuclear fusion process that forms a deuterium nucleus, consisting of a proton and a neutron, from two protons. A positron (e+)an antimatter electronis emitted along with an electron neutrino. The number of protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus can be modified, although this can require very high energies because of the strong force. Nuclear fusion occurs when multiple atomic particles join to form a heavier nucleus, such as through the energetic collision of two nuclei. For example, at the core of the Sun protons require energies of 310 keV to overcome their mutual repulsionthe coulomb barrierand fuse together into a single nucleus. Nuclear fission is the opposite process, causing a nucleus to split into two smaller nucleiusually through radioactive decay. The nucleus can also be modified through bombardment by high energy subatomic particles or photons. If this modifies the number of protons in a nucleus, the atom changes to a different chemical element. If the mass of the nucleus following a fusion reaction is less than the sum of the masses of the separate particles, then the difference between these two values can be emitted as a type of usable energy (such as a gamma ray, or the kinetic energy of a beta particle), as described by Albert Einstein's massenergy equivalence formula, E = mc2, where m is the mass loss and c is the speed of light. This deficit is part of the binding energy of the new nucleus, and it is the non-recoverable loss of the energy that causes the fused particles to remain together in a state that requires this energy to separate. The fusion of two nuclei that create larger nuclei with lower atomic numbers than iron and nickela total nucleon number of about 60is usually an exothermic process that releases more energy than is required to bring them together.[59] It is this energy-releasing process that makes nuclear fusion in stars a self-sustaining reaction. For heavier nuclei, the binding energy per nucleon in the nucleus begins to decrease. That means fusion processes producing nuclei that have atomic numbers higher than about 26, and atomic masses higher

than about 60, is an endothermic process. These more massive nuclei can not undergo an energy-producing fusion reaction that can sustain the hydrostatic equilibrium of a star. Electron cloud The electrons in an atom are attracted to the protons in the nucleus by the electromagnetic force. This force binds the electrons inside an electrostatic potential well surrounding the smaller nucleus, which means that an external source of energy is needed for the electron to escape. The closer an electron is to the nucleus, the greater the attractive force. Hence electrons bound near the center of the potential well require more energy to escape than those at greater separations. Electrons, like other particles, have properties of both a particle and a wave. The electron cloud is a region inside the potential well where each electron forms a type of threedimensional standing wavea wave form that does not move relative to the nucleus. This behavior is defined by an atomic orbital, a mathematical function that characterises the probability that an electron appears to be at a particular location when its position is measured. Only a discrete (or quantized) set of these orbitals exist around the nucleus, as other possible wave patterns rapidly decay into a more stable form. Orbitals can have one or more ring or node structures, and they differ from each other in size, shape and orientation. Each atomic orbital corresponds to a particular energy level of the electron. The electron can change its state to a higher energy level by absorbing a photon with sufficient energy to boost it into the new quantum state. Likewise, through spontaneous emission, an electron in a higher energy state can drop to a lower energy state while radiating the excess energy as a photon. These characteristic energy values, defined by the differences in the energies of the quantum states, are responsible for atomic spectral lines. The amount of energy needed to remove or add an electronthe electron binding energyis far less than the binding energy of nucleons. For example, it requires only 13.6 eV to strip a ground-state electron from a hydrogen atom,[63] compared to 2.23 million eV for splitting a deuterium nucleus. Atoms are electrically neutral if they have an equal number of protons and electrons. Atoms that have either a deficit or a surplus of electrons are called ions. Electrons that are farthest from the nucleus may be transferred to other nearby atoms or shared between atoms. By this mechanism, atoms are able to bond into molecules and other types of chemical compounds like ionic and covalent network crystals.