Saturday, June 16, 2012

Activity Two: Atom and Atomic Structure

My Three Favorite Elements:

Element 1:
 Boron - B

Atomic Number:  5

Atomic Mass Number: 10.811

The two subatomic particles that are equal in this model are the protons and electrons.

This model is already an isotope, because it has one more neutrons then it has protons.

Ground State to Excited State

Returning to Ground State

The lowest energy state for an electron is known as the ground state, but when a source of energy is absorbed by the electrons, such as a flame, the electrons go to a higher energy state, or excited state.
When the electron returns to a lower state, it puts out a photon of energy that could be seen as a light, such as a firework. 

Energy Coming in

Electron getting excited

Photon being released in form of light

Element 2:
Potassium - K
Atomic Number:  19

Atomic Mass Number:  39.0983

In this model, the two subatomic particles that have equal numbers are protons and electrons

This model of potassium is already an isotope because it has more neutrons then protons. To make it so it's not an isotope, the element would need to lose one neutron.

Element 3:
Neon - Ne

Atomic Number:  10

Atomic Mass Number:  20.1797

The two subatomic particles that are equal in the model of neon are the protons, neutrons, and the electrons.

To make this model an isotope, you would either need to lose or gain a neutron so that there is either more or less neutrons then protons.

Applying the Knowledge:

5. Considering the overall volume of your element models, what makes up most of the volume of an atom?
The empty space makes up the most volume in the atom, considering that an atom is mostly empty space. 

8. Why are some elements different colors when they are excited?
Different elements give off different colors when the are excited because they all have characteristics that fall on the line spectrum and only certain lines on the spectrum are visible. Different compounds also give off different colors, such as strontium compounds give off red light.

9. With the Fourth of July coming up quickly, explain how the colors of fireworks arise.
 Red: strontium compounds
Green: barium compounds
Yellow: sodium compounds
Blue: copper salt compounds
White: White-hot metals, such as magnesium
Purple: Mixing strontium compounds and copper salt compounds
Orange: calcium salts,calcium chloride, and calcium sulfate compound

10.  Explain the overall organizational structure of the periodic table.
 First of all, the periodic table is broken down into groups (families) and periods. Periods and horizontal rows and elements in each row demonstrate a range of properties from metallic (left) to nonmetallic (right). Groups are the vertical columns and in each column the elements contain similar chemical properties. Some groups has special names and electron configurations and these groups include alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, halogens, and noble gases. The table is also broken down into metals (conductors), nonmetals (nonconductors), and metalloids (demonstrate properties of both metals and nonmetals). Pictured below, the red section is the alkali metals and alkaline earth metals, the green section is the inner transition metals, the yellow section is transition metals, and the blue section consists of halogens, noble gases, and a few other elements.

Figure 3.17 on page 74 of J.W. Hill & D.K. Kolb

11. List two example elements for each of these groups or classes: 
Alkali Metals:  Potassium and Francium
Alkaline Earth:  Calcium and Barium
Halogens:  Chlorine and Astatine
Noble Gases:  Neon and Xenon
Transition Metals:  Manganese and Copper
Non-Metals:  Sulfur and Iodine

Metalloids: Boron and Silicone


  1. Thanks for the great idea. I was looking for a neon project and your idea was very helpful, and gave me some good ideas to use on my science project.

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