All atoms are made of three smaller particles called protons, neutrons and electrons. The protons and neutrons clump together at the center of an atom and the electrons orbit far away. Atoms can be combined to form molecules through chemical reactions.
To better understand atomic structure…
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!
The center of the atom, often referred to as the nucleus, is made up of protons and neutrons. The protons are positively charged, while the neutrons don’t have a charge. Orbiting around the outside of the atom at a tremendous speed and distance are electrons. Electrons are the smallest of the three subatomic particles and have a negative charge. Empty space is found between the atomic nucleus and electrons.
Atoms are extremely small. Atoms are more than 10,000 times smaller than the width of a hair. Even a classroom microscope would not be able to see anything close to the size of an atom. A specialized microscope called a Scanning Tunneling Microscope developed in the 1980s can show us individual atoms. If you were to look at some iron filings with a Scanning Tunneling Microscope, you would be able to see tiny spheres of iron atoms.