atomic particles
Home electrons


Atomic Particles

Presented by
Follow links for sources as given.



An Atom is the smallest part of an element which can take part in a chemical reaction. The atom consists of three fundamental particles,

  1. The Proton which has mass of approximately 1 atomic mass unit and a positive charge,

  2. The Neutron which has a mass of approximately 1 atomic mass unit and no charge, and

  3. The Electron which has a mass 1/1840 of the proton and a negative charge.

Each Elements is made up of one kind of atom only.

Just over one hundred different kinds of atoms are known.

Ninety two of these elements are naturally occurring (i.e. they are found on the earth), and the remainder have been made artificially in nuclear reactors.


Atomic Configuration

The Atomic Configuration is the arrangement of atoms or groups in a molecule.


Atomic Mass

The Atomic Mass of an atom is the total number of protons and neutrons which are present in the nucleus of the atom. The reference atomic mass unit is one-twelfth of the mass of the Carbon-12 isotope of carbon. The mass of Carbon-12 is defined as 12.000000 atomic mass units (amu).

One amu. is 1.66*10-27kg.


Atomic Mass Number

The Atomic Mass Number of an atom is the total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of the atom.


Atomic Mass of Chlorine

Chlorine consists of a mixture of two Isotopes.

The first isotope has a mass number of 35, and its nucleus contains 17 protons and 18 neutrons and

The second isotope has a mass number of 37, , and its nucleus contains 17 protons and 20 neutrons.

The observed atomic weight of chlorine is 35.46.

This indicates that chlorine is a mixture of these two isotopes, and that the isotope with mass number 35 is the more abundant atom present.

Indeed, the isotope of mass number 35 is approximately three times more abundant than the isotope of mass number 37.


Atomic Number

The Atomic Number of an element is the number of protons or positive charges which are present in the nucleus of the atoms of that element.


Atomic Orbitals

Atomic Orbitals are the specific regions in space around the nucleus of an atom in which the electrons are most likely to be found. An atomic orbital is fully described by its Quantum Numbers.

To explain why the electrons do not loose energy continuously Niels Bohr suggested that the electrons are confined to specific shells which have fixed energy levels. However, because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the locations of these shells about a nucleus cannot be rigidly defined. Thus, the atomic orbitals are diffuse regions in space around the nucleus of an atom in which the electrons are most likely to be found.

The exact nature of each atomic orbital is described in detail its set of Quantum Numbers, each of which describes a different aspect of the shell.


Atomic Particles

Chemistry is concerned with the structure of atom only in terms of the three atomic particles (i.e. the proton, the neutron and the electron).

It is now known that these atomic particles are themselves composed of sub-atomic particles (i.e. the quarks and leptons). These sub-atomic particles are also called the fundamental particles or elementary particles.

However, this further detail of the structure of the nucleus of the atom has no chemical consequences and will not be considered further in this text.


Atomic Radii

The Atomic Radii is the calculated distance between the atomic nuclei in a crystalline solid.


Atomic Spectra

The Atomic Spectra of an element are the lines which are present at characteristic wavelengths in the light emitted from an electric arc between electrodes of that element. Each line (i.e. each specific wavelength) in the spectrum corresponds to the energy difference between two orbitals in the atom. According to the quantum theory, the electrons in an atom can only reside in specific orbitals, each of which has a fixed energy level, and one photon is emitted for each electronic transition between orbitals.

When an electron drops from an orbital of high energy to one of lower energy, a photon (i.e. a packet of light) is emitted corresponding to the energy difference between the orbitals.


Atomic Theory of Matter

Greek philosophers were the first to propose that all matter consists of very small particles called atoms (Greek atomas, meaning indivisible). No further progress was made with the development of this atomic theory of matter until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the experimental evidence needed to support the theory began to accumulate.

In 1803AD, John Dalton proposed his atomic theory in which he held that the atom was simple, solid and impenetrable. All elements were made up of these minute particles

  1. which could not be created nor destroyed,

  2. which were indivisible,

  3. which were identical in the same element, and

  4. which combined in small whole numbers when forming compounds.

The tenets of his atomic theory are known as Dalton's Postulates.

Ninety years later, Pierre and Marie Curie were to discover and isolate radium, a new element which spontaneously disintegrated into other elements. This proved that the atoms of one element at least were not indivisible.

From about 1850AD onwards, the study of electric discharge in high vacuum by Crookes, Goldstein and others, which was made possible by Callan's work at Maynooth, led to the discovery of the particles which Stoney named Electrons. These electrons emanated from any metal used as a cathode in a discharge tube and for this reason were called rays. Thus, the electron was established as a fundamental particle of matter.

By convention the charge on the electron was considered negative and in 1909AD,R A Millikan showed by his classic oil-drop experiment that the electron possessed definite charge and mass.

Since the atom was electrically neutral, the existence of negative charge on the electron mandated the existence of an equal amount of positive charge. The problem arose as to the distribution of charge throughout the atom. J JThompson had proposed that the negative electrons were embedded in the atom at random.

In 1911AD, Sir Ernst Rutherford used a radioactive source to bombard a thin gold leaf with alpha particles, which are positively charged (i.e. helium atoms without electrons). Most of these alpha-particles passed through the thin gold leaf undeflected, some were deflected outward and a few were deflected back along their own path. He concluded that the positive charge was concentrated in a small region, called the nucleus, round which the electrons revolved. Those alpha particles which were deflected through large angles had come close to nucleus and were repelled by its concentrated positive charge. Rutherford's model of the atom contained a revolving electron which according to classical physics should lose energy continuously and spiral into the nucleus.

Neils Bohr discovered the way in which the electrons travel about the nucleus. He suggested that an electron could revolve in only certain allowed orbits. As long as an electron remained in an allowed orbit, it does not lose or gain energy. The Bohr model was satisfactory in explaining the behaviour of the electron in the hydrogen atom, but failed with multi-electron elements.

Rutherford suggested that the proton was a second fundamental sub-atomic particle in the nucleus, and he hinted that a neutral particle might also exist.

In 1932AD, Chadwick discovered that second kind of particle exists in the nucleus, which has no electrical charge. He named these particles Neutrons.


Atomic Volume

The atomic volume of an element is the relative atomic mass of the element divided by is density.


Atomic Weight

The atomic weight of an element is its relative atomic mass, which is the ratio of the average mass per atom of the naturally occurring form of an element to one twelfth (i.e. 1 / 12) of the mass of a carbon-12 atom.




Copyright 2000 Stanley Fay White


Different Concepts of atoms and atomic particles have existed since before the Greeks and can be traced back to eras that even preceded the Minoan thalassocracy. Some of the ideas came from the Far East, others from the Near East. The latter day view of Democritus, (a Greek), of an atom as the ultimate bit of matter prevailed until the nineteenth century. Thomson, Rutherford and Bohr changed all that. Thomson showed that atoms had two different particles. Rutherford showed that atoms were mostly space. Bohr devised a "planetary" type of an atom with electrons circulating around a nucleus. Unfortunately, this led to the misconception that electrons were smaller than nuclei, when in fact the reverse is true. Nevertheless, the view of Bohr (along with the discoveries of the Curies) ushered in "modern physics". The world has never been the same since. 

Recent cosmological theories reveal that the universe is made up of atomic particles strung together in various configurations, rather than a macro universe made up of rocks, water etc. In spite of the recent intense interest in atomic particles, the nature of said particles has eluded analysis. There is a reason for this. In dealing with macro objects like rocks, they can be categorized and experimented upon. Until now there has been no way to get inside an atomic particle to investigate its nature and composition.

Modern physics has been inundated by higher mathematics. Most natural laws of physics have been reduced to complex mathematical equations. The age of the computer has intensified this process of mathematizing and quantifying physical quantities and relationships. Modern scholarship takes the position that if it can't be quantified it is meaningless, if it isn't expressed in higher math it is inferior. This works with the results of experiments. It doesn't work with physical entities that can't be directly measured. To date there is no way to perform any measurements on the interior of atomic particles. Some have attempted to get around the problem by stipulating that an electron has no interior. This sort of works mathematically (Feynman thought it was silly). Lacking access, it has been difficult to refute this thesis and others such as protons (at rest) being full of quarks. Faced with conflicting and highly mathematized views, atomic particles remain a mystery.

A new tool, Inductive Analysis, has been developed for the express purpose of analyzing the structure of atomic particles. One of the tenets is: "If it doesn't have a referent, it is suspect." Mathematical infinity is one such suspect. When you see an infinity, beware! Contrary to the view of some, atomic particles have a precise structure that occupies space. This structure is so precise that there is no known way to distinguish between one atomic particle (of the same class) and another. This identical structure characteristic is so precise it defies Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

If one had a way of ladling out atomic particle substance into equal bits, one would find that there is no theoretical way of measuring to the accuracy of mass we find in atomic particles. In a particular class of atomic particle, all the electric fields are identical, all the masses are the same, and the inertia and magnetic fields react identically when the particle is under motion. For those of us who know how to measure the radius of atomic particles, the radii turn out to be identical from one particle to another. Until now we have not had an explanation for these phenomena It is no wonder that it has taken so long to unravel the mystery of atomic particle structure.


There have been many clues along the way as to the nature of atomic particles. Einstein's equations relating to matter are algebraic. Newton's laws, and many others relate to all matter, whatever its chemical composition. There is an obvious oneness of matter underlying the seeming diversity of macro objects. Avogadro's gas laws apply to all gasses. The composition problem of atomic structure is resolved by beginning at the beginning, with the nature of the Primordial Singularity. The entire universe came from this super particle (singularity). At the time of the Singularity, the only natural laws that existed were the laws governing the Singularity.

By elucidating and categorizing these "first laws", we have the FIRST PRINCIPLES of the universe. In these FIRST PRINCIPLES we have the irreducible distilled essence of the universe. The entire universe has been derived from the essence of Primordial Singularity. This is so for there is no known outside anything that has been added to the universe since the annihilation of the Primordial Singularity. Therefore, any stated natural law that is not compatible with the FIRST PRINCIPLES is false by the reason that it not derivable from FIRST PRINCIPLES. Knowing this simplifies the ordering of natural laws in the physics knowledge base. As it is generally realized that the current stated physics knowledge base is flawed, the application of FIRST PRINCIPLES through Inductive Analysis of the base will cleanse the base, so that a 'Proper Foundation for Physics" can be developed.


It is not true that an atomic particle is an absolute black box. We have an experiment that reveals what is inside an atomic particle; what we don't have is any experiment that shows the structure of "the black box", even though we know what is inside. When an electron (or proton) collides with its "anti-particle" the annihilation produces are two identical gamma rays exiting in opposite directions from the point of collision. The energy of the gamma rays are the energy equivalent of the masses of the colliding particles. ( ) Except for the gamma rays, nothing else has ever been observed exiting the collision point. Therefore, it is fair to say that an atomic particle (near rest velocity) contains a single gamma ray of the mass equivalence of the atomic particle. In the parlance of physics, atomic particles are "singularities". For reasons that are not clear, this fact seems to be on the back burner of current physics thinking. The advent of lineacs and accelerator rings has proved a powerful distraction.

With the new tools of astronomy, (a raft of new large optical telescopes, radio telescopes, the Hubbell telescope etc.) we have new ways to probe the nature of atomic particles along with the mysteries of the physical universe. Neutron stars give us food for thought. Black holes shred incoming matter and break it down into energy. A consistent result of the shredding is a "singularity" at the center of black holes. This is evidence that the nature of the entity at the center of black holes is similar from one black hole to another All matter is the same, only the magnitude of the parameters is different. From this perspective, Einstein's equations clarify the reality.

All matter is equally convertible into energy. (This can only be so if all atomic particles are composed of the same thing (energy). Otherwise there would be more than one set of natural laws that control matter). The laws that control all matter are the same because the basics of all matter are the same. (We do not currently have a handle on how the shredded matter is absorbed and converted into one super photon, a singularity) Newton's laws become clear. All matter responds the same to gravity, inertia etc. because the underlying nature of all matter is the same. The reason for this is that all matter has the same basic structure. Matter is composed of atomic particles, and the atomic particles are composed of gamma rays whose energy is proportional to the mass of the referenced particle. As the preponderance of matter is either electrons or protons, the gamma rays that compose matter are of two values, the energy equivalence of the masses of either electrons or protons. Black hole phenomena support the fact. All of this information is background needed to carry out an Inductive Analysis of the structure of electrons and all atomic particles. Inductive Analysis uses all verified data, identified by referents; not just the data derived from man made machines.

The facts recited above re the annihilation products of particle-antiparticle collision have never been disputed. The acceptance is so widespread that numerous engineers are devising particle-antiparticle engines for space travel. Even sci-fi TV programs and movies talk incessantly about matter-antimatter drives. The matter-antimatter results are not ignored for lack of knowledge. It is not clear why the physics community has an emotional block on the fact. Perhaps this is one reason the structure of atomic particles has remained an enigma. One cannot construct a viable model of something without all the facts. Inductive Analysis revealed this glaring oversight (ignoring the matter-antimatter experiments) in the atomic particle database. Unfortunately, the bad habit of using only data that supports ones position has become commonplace as the record shows.

If we view the atomic particle as a black box, we see that our simile is not perfect. This black box is not black, but gray. Electric fields project from it in a uniform manner, one particle to another. The box has "mass" and it responds to gravity. When the box is moved (an electron or proton), it generates a predictable magnetic field. The inertia of the black box is predictable as well, based upon the mass of the box. Now these things have been known for a long time, without solving the mystery of the box, so these facts alone will not resolve the problem. However, we know that any solution to the black box problem must be compatible with the above parameters, or the solution is flawed. This is the technique of Inductive Analysis. All facts to be tested must be compatible and consistent with FIRST PRINCIPLES, be verifiable and consistent with the known knowledge base and be repeatable in order to be a solution to an unknown problem.

Beginning with First Principles and employing Inductive Analysis has proved to be the key that has unlocked the mystery of atomic composition. (The astonishing thing was that having the structure of the electron revealed the structure of the Primordial Singularity, which it turns out has the same structure as an electron (or any atomic particle), except that in the case of the Primordial Singularity, the magnitudes of the values are those of the entire universe (mass etc.)) If we can conclude that all atomic particles are "black boxes" with a gamma ray trapped inside, for the first time we have a glimpse of the inner workings of atomic particles. This was the starting point for the analysis that solved the enigma of atomic particles. Papers have been written (and are attached) that show first, how the processes of the analysis were carried out and finally how the knowledge gained from this initial analysis led the way to the solution of other atomic particle enigmas, such as the structure of neutrons and the various atomic nuclei. Having solved these problems, it was possible to construct a more realistic view of atoms, beginning with the fact that orbiters do not radiate. It has been an amazing adventure, with many surprises along the way.


 Sponsored Links



Click on the topics in this electrical theory link rack for other subjects of interest to you.

 atomic theory

atomic particles


electric current


electrical resistance

electrical power

electrical circuit


electrical capacitance

electrical inductance

electrical power factor

electrical reactance

inductive reactance

capacitive reactance


electrical sine wave

electric transformers

electric motors

electrical formulas

Click on links in this electrician topics link rack which may be of interest to you.



Self Study

Self Study

Self Study

Self Study

Plan Review
Self Study

Electrician Calculations
Lecture Index
Self Study

Literacy List



Diagnostic Exam 
Self Study

Search Term
Index 2002 NEC


Internet Tour
For Electricians

For Electricians

For Sale

Used Books 
For Sale

Reference Books
For Sale

Many Books
At Amazon.Com
For Sale

Tricks of the Trade

Stories From
The Job

Tools List

Just Fun Links

Electrical Exam

Electrical Exam

Electrical Exam
Test Taking 

On The Job Work Tips


My Hobbies
Stamps and
Philatelic Covers

My Hobbies
Postcards and 
Paper Collectables

My Hobbies

My Hobbies Genealogy

VisitEuropeOnline Tips For A European Trip Germany Pages France Pages
Austria Pages Britain Pages Sweden Pages Switzerland Pages
Italy Pages      
Click HERE to return to the Home Page.
Use this Google search box to find topics on this website: 

The next Master Electrician Course in Port St. Lucie begins January 9th, 2010. Details HERE.
Products For Sale  
  1998-2010 by David Ullian Larson
Advertise at
Link Exchange Solicited For Appropriate Products 
Companion websites include: (not yet)

Other websites which may be of interest: