2 Structures Found In Plant Cells And Not Animal Cells Structure of an Atom

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Structure of an Atom

The structure of an atom

Kiwi fruits are a delight to our taste buds, but have you ever noticed the inside? It has a light colored center and surrounding layers of black seeds located within the flesh of the fruit.

If we compare an atom to a kiwi fruit, the concentrated central part can be compared to the positively charged atomic nucleus and the black seeds to the negatively charged electrons. It was believed that these electrons revolved around the nucleus just as the earth and other planets revolved around the sun. As we know, atom is the smallest particle of an element and no one can see the movement of these electrons with the naked eye. The nucleus has two types of subatomic particles, positively charged protons and neutral neutrons.

In 1922, Bohr received the Nobel Prize for proposing this atomic structure that laid the foundation for quantum physics. But do you think that the passive and obedient electrons and the silent nucleus can generate radioactivity? They will live happily ever after, right? But the reality is the tremendous energy of radio activity. Powerful alpha rays, beta rays, gamma rays, X-rays and ever-moving quarks and neutrinos are the truth. What contributes to these indestructible phenomena? When Bohr’s atomic structure could not explain these phenomena, scientists came up with several ideas, including electrons moving in the same circular orbits but in different directions. Among them Louis De Broglie borrowed Einstein’s wave theory of light and explained that all forms of matter such as protons, electrons, atoms, molecules show dual character as light. de Broglie, using Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic waves, formulated the concept of matter waves. Matter waves are waves associated with moving microscopic particles.

Let’s go back to Kiwi fruit to understand the concept. In the image, you should have seen the soft flesh spread around the black seeds. Imagine, these soft layers are the path of those seeds moving in and around and the soft layers are formed due to the movement of those seeds. Instead of forming a round path, the path formed by the seeds are like waves. Similar is the case with the path of electrons around the nucleus. These paths of electrons around the nucleus are called orbitals. Orbitals are regions in space around the nucleus where electrons are likely to be found.

Now, let’s understand why scientists were concerned about the structure of the atom in terms of radioactivity. What is radioactivity? Radioactivity is the emission of radiation or particles caused by the decay of an atomic nucleus. Alpha particles Positively charged particles consisting of two protons and two neutrons. Beta particles are negatively charged and are generated by the nucleus during its disintegration process, while gamma rays are neutral radiation. If Bohr’s model of the atom was correct, an atom would always have a stable nucleus with the same number of protons survived by the same number of bound electrons moving around it at a desirable speed.

The disintegration of the core indicated the possibility of changing charge and increasing voltage within the core. The main reason may be the mismatch in charge and that led to the discovery of the wave theory of sub-atomic particles. This concept led Werner Karl Heisenberg to formulate a principle for the location of electrons within atomic orbitals called Hesenberg’s uncertainty principle. Heisenberg said that “It is not possible to determine simultaneously and precisely the position and momentum of a moving microscopic particle such as the electron, proton, etc.” According to the uncertainty principle, due to the wave nature of the electron, we cannot describe the exact path, ie, the position followed by an electron at any time. Thus, Bohr’s theory, according to which electrons are considered to have a fixed position of certain energy, is no longer correct.

How does it affect human beings if we believe that the Bohr Model of the atom is the correct model and shut down all further research based on wave theory? If scientists did not investigate the truth behind atomic structure,

1. We would never have been able to treat cancer patients

Gamma rays are used to kill cancer cells and are used to treat cancer. For this purpose, the atom of the element Cobalt-60 is usually used. Using radiation to fight cancer is an important career. With the increasing rate of cancer cases in the world, a degree in radiation therapy accounts for many opportunities.

2. Killing germs

Gamma rays are successfully used to destroy microbes that cause food to rot. Surgical instruments and syringes can also be treated with gamma rays. It is an excellent way to prevent transferred infections.

3. Meeting with carbon

When an animal or plant dies, it stops taking up carbon. But its carbon-14 content continues to decay. By comparing carbon-14 with that of a living organism, the age of animal and plant remains can be calculated. This is known as carbon dating. Carbon dating is used in the study of fossils. It is also a great career that has opportunities in the disciplines of archaeology, paleontology, etc.

4. Calculating the age of rocks

The remaining 1.2% of potassium atoms is radioactive, known as K-40. The nucleus of this atom decays over twelve thousand years and eventually decays to form the stable argon atom. By tracing the argon content of potassium rocks, scientists can calculate the age of such rocks. Therefore, it is a great support for geologists and geographers.

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