Atom Facts

Atoms are really, really small. They are so small you can’t even see them with a microscope! And there are a lot of them in everything, even in your body. There are so many atoms in your body you can’t even count them all! Kind of amazing, really, is it?

Atoms are made up of tiny, tiny particles called subatomic particles. These basic particles make up the atom’s structure.

There are three kinds of these particles:

  • Electrons
  • Protons
  • Neutrons

What’s really interesting is they are so small, and you can’t even see them! But they are important because they make up every single thing.

Atom Facts for Kids

  • Atoms are the smallest particles of matter.
  • They are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
  • Protons have a positive charge, electrons have a negative charge, and neutrons have no charge.
  • The number of protons in an atom determines what element it is.
  • Atoms can bond together to form molecules.
  • They are constantly moving and can change into different elements through chemical reactions.

Amazingly atoms are really tiny things that are the building blocks of everything around us. There are different kinds of atoms, and they are named based on how many electrons, protons, and neutrons they have. Did you know that sometimes these remarkable atoms can change and join together to make new things called molecules?

Without dazzling you with science, different types and numbers of atoms fit together to make different elements, like oxygen and carbon. These impressive elements can combine in different ways to make different types of matter, like water and diamonds. Each element has its own unique number of protons, neutrons, and electrons, which give it its own special properties.

The Nucleus

At the center of an atom is a special part called the nucleus. The nucleus is made up of tiny particles called protons and neutrons, and it’s very dense. The nucleus contains all of the atom’s mass and is very hard to break apart. This is why atoms can last forever!

Neutrons

Neutrons are particles in the center of an atom that doesn’t have a charge. They help determine how heavy and how active the atom is. This is phenomenal

They are like the bouncers of an atom – they help keep everything inside the nucleus in line! Neutrons are particles that are found in the center, or nucleus, of an atom.

Unlike protons, which have a positive charge, neutrons have no charge at all. Protons and electrons attract and repel other particles, but these don’t. Luckily electrical properties of an atom are not affected by neutrons whatsoever.

The number of neutrons in an atom can affect its mass and radioactivity. So even though they may not be the flashiest particles in the atom, they still play an important role in keeping everything running smoothly!

Protons

Protons are tiny particles inside the nucleus of an atom. They have a positive charge, and they help make up the element that the atom is. Protons are a little heavier than electrons but not as heavy as neutrons.

Protons are like the superheroes of an atom! They have a positive charge, which means they are attracted to other particles with a negative charge (like electrons).

Protons are found in the nucleus, or center, of an atom. What’s mind-blowing is every element in nature or made in a lab has at least one proton, and the number of protons in an atom determines what element it is. For example, did you know if an atom has 6 protons, it is a carbon atom?

If it has 17 protons, it is a chlorine atom. Protons are also a little bit heavier than electrons but not as heavy as neutrons. So even though they may be very small and tiny, they pack a powerful punch and help keep the atom strong and stable!

Electrons

Electrons are tiny particles moving around the outside of an atom. They have a negative charge, and they are attracted to the positive charge of protons. What’s phenomenal is that electrons are very small and very fast, so it can be hard for scientists to see them. You could fit many electrons into a single proton.

They are like the race car drivers of an atom! They are tiny particles that move around the outside, or shell, of an atom. Electrons have a negative charge, which means they are attracted to the positive charge of protons.

This attraction helps keep the electrons in orbit around the nucleus of the atom. Electrons are glorious small, and very fast, which makes it so hard for scientists to actually see them.

Astonishingly, even though they are super small, they actually play an important role in how atoms behave and interact with each other. So even though they may be tiny, they are still an important part of the atom’s team!