Atoms make up the basis of everything and are the smallest part of an element. This means that if an object is broken down into the smallest piece it can be, it will be an atom. When an atoms created a bond with another atom, it can grow to become a molecule.
- Subatomic particles
Subatomic particles are the pieces that fuse together to create atoms. The three most common ones are protons, which have a positive electrical charge, neurons, which have no charge and electrons, which have a negative electrical charge.
Elements are made up of atoms with the same amount of protons in their nucleus. The number of protons is known as the atomic number and this is the order by which the elements in the Periodic Table are sorted by.
Elements are made up of atoms that always contain the same number of protons in their nucleus. The number of neurons in the nucleus, on the other hand, can be different. Elements with different neurons are called isotopes.
Electrons are the bonds which atoms have to share in order fuse together and become molecules. Chemical bonds keep the atoms together and can be created by an atom giving or taking an electron from another atom.
Electrons are not attracted to all atoms at the same rate. Some atoms attract lots of electrons whereas other atoms are weak and lose electrons easily. Electronegativity is when an atom is strong and has a tendency to attract many electrons easily. When an atom with low electronegativity bonds with an atom with high electronegativity, it will usually lose electrons as it is weaker.
- Ionic bonds
When positively and negatively charged atoms have an electrical attraction, it’s called ionic bonding. The strength of these bonds depends on the environment in which they were formed. Solid’s tend to create strong ionic bonds whereas liquid’s find it harder to do so.
- Covalent bonds
Covalent bonds occur when two atoms share the same strength for attracting electrons, making them both high on electronegativity. This means that the atoms will share a pair of electrons in order to keep them stable.
- Polar covalent bonds
Bonds between atoms are not only created when both have the same level of electronegativity. If the levels differ, the bond becomes polar covalent. Polar covalent bonds are unequal as the electrons they share will spend more time orbiting the nucleus of the atom with more electronegativity.
- Hydrogen bonds
Hydrogen bonds occur between atoms after the formation of polar covalent bonds. The end of one atom is usually negatively charged and the end of the other atoms is usually positively charged, which means that when they attract, they form a hydrogen bond. Hydrogen bonds are very strong in large numbers and not only hold two halves of DNA together but they hold proteins together too.