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Atom and its structure
The importance of Atoms
Our universe is full of atoms and full of neutrinos.|
Over 2000 years ago, people from India and Greece came up with the idea that matter is made up of tiny particles. Greek philosophers used the word atom atomos = indivisible for these not visible pieces.
The British Nobel prize winner, Ernest Rutherford, 1871 - 1937, was born in New Zealand. He theorized that atoms have their charge concentrated in a very small nucleus. Because of Rutherford's discovery, scientists found out about the special structure of the atom made up of far smaller subatomic particles. Atoms have a positively charged nucleus with an exact atomic number of charges in the center.
X-rays were used to count the number of electrons giving the different atoms atomic numbers. When you look at the graphic of the Hydrogen atom below, you see why it has the atomic number 1
Every atom we know off has this kind of structure.
Atoms are constructed of two types of elementary particles:
Electrons occupy a space that surrounds an atom's nucleus.
Each electron has an electrical charge of -1.
Each proton has an electrical charge of +1
Each neutron has an electrical charge of 0
Quarks make up protons and neutrons, which, in turn, make up an atom's nucleus.
Hydrogen atoms we find most, followed by Helium, Oxygen, Carbon, Neon, Iron, Nitrogen, Silicon, Magnesium, Sulfur, ... just to name a few.
Hydrogen is with over 90% the most abundant element in our universe.
Hydrogen is essential for life.
Structure of Hydrogen atom
Atomic systems want to be stable, so they try to have only completely filled shells. For a hydrogen atom to become more stable, it has to take up an electron to have a full shell. Another possibility is to give off an electron, so there is no longer an electron shell.
Think about this urge of atoms to have their shells filled to be satisfied: it is the basics of our existence!
Now look at this atom structure
Helium is essential for life.
Oxygen on Earth is mainly found with Hydrogen, in Earth's atmosphere, and in most life forms.
Neon is colourless and odourless. A gas that will
not react with any other substance.
Nitrogen is a colourless, odourless gas.
It is important to the chemical industry,
producing fertilisers, nitric acid, nylon, dyes and explosives.
Pure Silicon is hard and brittle, crystalline solid
with a blue-grey metallic sheen.
Magnesium is a silvery-white metal that ignites easily in air and burns with a bright light
Sulfur normally appears as yellow crystals or powder.
There are several different physical forms of sulfur.
Without atoms there would be no beginning of life!!
About hundred years ago, scientists achieved their goal to split the atom.
Long before it was thought and taught, that a atom is the smallest piece possible.|
About half a century ago, some scientist started to think and look about smaller particles, smaller than protons, neutrons and electrons.
They found out that there are quarks, much smaller than everything imagined before.
Quarks are the fundamental constituent of the matter inside all the atoms of the universe.
There are six varieties of quarks:
up, down, charm, top, strange, bottom.
Quarks have a mass, an electric charge, and different colors.
Their mass tells how heavy quarks would be if one could weigh them.
Quarks have a positive (+) or a negative (−) electric charge. Up, charm, and top quarks have a positive 2/3 charge.
Down, strange, and bottom quarks have a negative 1/3 charge.
That is the reason protons are positive because of two ups and one down quark, giving a net positive charge.
The 'strong force' moves quarks closer to each other, giving them different colors, a blue, green, or red; there has to be one quark of each color inside a proton or neutron.
The up and down quarks are lighter than the other varieties.
When three quarks combine the result is a hadron, which, when stable, scientists call proton or neutron.
To form a four-quark hadron, the colors would need to be compatible in addition to everything else, and even then it could still be unstable. The charm, top, strange and bottom varieties can form different kind of three quark groups in various combinations.
The question for many scientists was if it would be possible, that a stable combination of four can exist. Four would be called a tetra-quark, but no-one could find prove of their existence.
In Switzerland many scientists work at CERN, and there, researchers think they can prove that a stable tetra-quark exists.
Theoretical physicists calculated the outcome of different quark combinations and found one that theoretically could remain stable:
doubly charmed baryon and double-bottom baryon.
To get more and better results, they moved their research to CERN.
On 28 June, 2016, the LHCb collaboration reported the observation of three new "exotic" particles and the confirmation of the existence of a fourth one in data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Each of these particles seems to be formed by four quarks.
During the summer of 2017 the first doubly charmed baryons were detected. A mason is a subatomic particle that is intermediate in mass between an electron and a proton and transmits the strong interaction that binds nucleons together in the atomic nucleus, and exists only for fractions of a second. The J/ψ meson and its excited states, also referred to as charmonium, are formed by a charm quark and its antimatter correspondent, a charm antiquark, bound together by the strong nuclear force. Just like ordinary atoms, a meson can be observed in excited states where the two quarks move around each other in different configurations, and because of Einstein's famous equivalence of energy and mass, after a tiny amount of time they can disappear and transform into some other particles of lower masses.
Now, the way to create a stable tetraquark is open to explore. The next years will show...
Without all these atoms|
life on Earth, as we know it, would not exist, nothing what we imagine would exist.
We would not exist.
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