Anatomy of an Atom

By Robin Higgins

The anatomy of an atom involves three different particles and other characteristics. Find out about the anatomy of an atom with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.


Hi, I'm Robin Higgins and this is anatomy of an atom. Alright, so in every atom we have three different particles. Okay so we have one, the proton, the neutron and third, electron. These numbers don't really have any meaning. You're just listing. Alright, so both the proton and the neutron are in the nucleus and the electron is around the nucleus. Alright, so if we're going to draw the anatomy of an atom right in the middle in the nucleus, let's draw in this case a helium atom which is atomic number 2. You are going to have two protons because that's the atomic number and every proton has a positive charge. So we'll give both these guys a positive and let's say in this helium, we also have two neutrons. So how many neutrons depends on what isotope of helium you have, a bunch of heliums happen to have 2 and so we are going to leave this neutral or with no charge because neutrons are neutral. Alright so that's it for the nucleus and now how you draw this kind of depends, remember that an electron is actually super tiny and is both a particle and a wave so this little drawing we have isn't super accurate but it's fine if we are just kind of trying to map out what an electron generally looks like and where stuff is and so it's going to be around the nucleus, flying around, very fast and then we'll have two of them and they are both negatively charged. These are the electrons. So electron, negative, neutron, neutral, proton positive. So yeah, nucleus, flying around the nucleus, got the electrons and this is our helium atom. I am Robin Higgins and this is the anatomy of an atom.

About the Author

Robin Higgins graduated with a B.S in Chemistry from Emory University 2010, and has just recently received her M.S in Chemistry from the University of California Los Angeles.