Fundamental Concepts

  • Each atom consists of a very small nucleus composed of protons and neutrons, which is encircled by moving electrons.
  • Charge on sub-atomic particles
    • Electrons and protons are electrically charged, the charge magnitude being 1.60 ϫ 10-19 C
    • Electrons are negatively charged and protons are positively charged.
    • Neutrons are electrically neutral.
  • Mass of the sub-atomic particles
    • Protons and neutrons have approximately the same mass – 1.67 ϫ 10-27 kg.
    • Mass of an electron is significantly less than that of protons and neutrons – 9.11 ϫ 10-31 kg.
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