• Document: An Atom Apart by Leslie Cargile
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Name: __________________________________ An Atom Apart by Leslie Cargile Have you ever walked through a cloud of gnats on a hot summer, only to have them follow you? No matter how you swat at them, or even if you run, they won’t leave you alone. If so, then you have something in common with an atom. Atoms are the building blocks of molecules, which when combined, make up everything. From the smallest one-celled amoeba, to every person who has ever lived, to the largest and brightest stars in the sky, Protons and neutrons make up the nucleus of the atom. atoms are everywhere. A cloud of electrons orbits the nucleus. Even way back in the time of ancient Greece, they wondered about atoms. That’s where the word The negatively charged electrons are bound to the comes from, ancient Greece. The word A’tomos, nucleus, and zap around it in a cloud. Do you when translated into English, means: something that remember the cloud of gnats? The gnats would be cannot be divided any further. So what’s an atom the electrons zipping around you, the nucleus. look like? Up until very recently no one could say one way or another. There are different ways atoms are classified. They can be classified into elements, like oxygen, carbon, or Technically we can’t see individual atoms, since there hydrogen. All of the elements known to man so far are no microscopes powerful enough. Since can be found on the periodic table. The number of technology improves all the time, it may not be long protons an atom has decides the chemical element. before we can actually see a whole atom through a The number of electrons defines the atom's chemical special microscope. Even though scientists cannot properties, like its melting temperature and boiling see atoms with microscopes, they have developed point. ways to detect them and learn about them. Atoms are made up of three basic parts; protons, The study of atoms and tiny particles that are even neutrons, and electrons. There is a core, or nucleus, smaller is called quantum mechanics. Scientists still and an electron cloud. The nucleus is made up of have much to learn about atoms. Maybe you will positively charged protons and neutral neutrons. The enter the study of quantum mechanics and find a nucleus is held closely together by electromagnetic brand new element. Maybe they’ll even name it after force. you! Super Teacher Worksheets - www.superteacherworksheets.com Name: __________________________________ An Atom Apart by Leslie Cargile 1. What are atoms? a. tiny particles that make up all matter b. tiny particles that can only be seen with a microscope c. tiny particles that look like gnats d. particles that are so large they cannot be seen 2. What does the word A'tomos mean in ancient Greece? _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Complete the graphic organizer. 4. What is quantum mechanics? _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. If you wanted to find the chemical element of an atom, you would need to... a. know how many electrons it has b. know how many protons it has c. know its melting temperature d. see it with a microscope 6. The author begins this article by comparing a cloud of gnats to an atom. In this scenario, what do the gnats represent? What does the person walking through the gnats represent? _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ Something to Think About: If you discovered a new element that was added to the periodic table, what would you name it? Super Teach

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