Now, like two posts ago, this post is going to be about imformation from my online homeschooling website, Time4Learing (time4learning.com) and this time, it's about Atoms.
Have you ever wondered; what makes up people? You might think; guts, or recycled food, or molecules. These are all true, but you are made of atoms. No one has ever seen an atom, but scientists realized that matter behaves like it is made of these really small particles.
The middle of an atom is called the nucleus. Unlike the nucleus of a cell, the nucleus of an atom is densely packed and made of these two; protons and neutrons. Protons have a charge of (+1) while neutrons, hence their name, have a neutral charge (n).
Surrounding the nucleus of an atom is a sort of cloud, that are made of electrons, with a charge of (-1).
Most atoms follow the octet rule (big word alert). A stable atom have 8 electrons in the outer electron shell.
Say there are two atoms. Sodium (Na) is the first, and in it's outside ring has 1 electron. The second is Chlorine (Cl), and it has 7 electrons, grouped in two's except for the last one, which is by itself. Since atoms try to become stable, the Chlorine wants to have 8 electrons. So, it takes an electron from the Sodium atom. Now the Sodium atom-which is now a Sodium ion, become positive, because it has more positive protons in it's nucleus, but no negative electrons. But the Chlorine atom gained a neutron, so it has more negative neutrons then before. The Chlorine therefore becomes negative. As you might already know, positives and negatives attract. The two atoms form something called an ionic bond.
Sometimes, there are certain situations where an atom wants electrons, but doesn't have enough strength to steal it. Lets say we have a Carbon (C) atom, that has 4 electrons. Unlike Chlorine, which has 7, it is not very strong. The second one is Hydrogen (H), that has one electron. Both atoms would like the other's electron. So the two share one, forming a covalent bond.