Are there anything smaller than atoms? • We know that all matter is made of atoms and atoms are the smallest particles that have the same composition of an element. • But there are particles found within atoms.
The Nucleus • Two of the three main subatomic particles are found within the nucleus of an atom. • The nucleus is the center of an atom.
Protons and Neutrons • Protons and Neutrons are found inside the nucleus of an atom. • These two subatomic particles are almost identical in size and mass. • Protons have a positive charge. • Neutrons have a neutral or no charge.
Electrons • Electrons are the third subatomic particle. • Electrons have a negative charge. • They have an extremely small mass.
What are charges? • Just because atoms are made up of charged particles doesn’t mean that they always have a charge. • If there is an equal number of protons and electrons then there is no charge on the atom. Why? • What if there were more protons than electrons?