The Atom

by Jules Bruno
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So we've talked about the nucleus. It's at the very center of the atom. It's extremely small in relation to the total volume of the atom, and it contains protons and neutrons. Now, when it comes to our nucleus, there are forces at work that helped to keep the nucleus together. But there's also forces at work. They try to pull it apart. Now we're gonna say, within the nucleus, there are these two major forces that characterized the behavior between protons and neutrons. Now we have what's called our nuclear force. The force within the nucleus that pulls together protons and neutrons. The way we have to think about it is in chemistry. We say that opposites attract. If you have opposite charges, you attract one another. Same charges repel one another. If you think about it, you have positively charged protons around. If you get them close enough to each other because they have the same charge, they're gonna want to repel each other. The way we prevent this from happening is the neutrons. The neutrons have no charge for a reason. They kind of act as the glue that keeps the nucleus together. Okay, we'll go into greater detail several chapters from now, when we cover nuclear chemistry and talk more in depth about nuclear force and electrostatic force. But just realize here that the neutrons kind of act as the glue that keeps together the protons, which have the same charge. All these protons with positive charges don't want to be next to each other now. Besides the nuclear force, we have the electrostatic force. Theological static force is the force within the nucleus that pulls apart protons and neutrons. So it's just basically this balancing act between the two forces. If nuclear forces greater than electrostatic force, it has an effect on the nucleus. If electrostatic force is greater, the nuclear force, it has an effect on the nucleus. Now we're going to say, for a stable nucleus that is held together, remember the forces holding it together is the nuclear force. It keeps them. It keeps everything together. The electrostatic forces was trying to pull things apart. If you wanna have a stable nucleus that is together, you want to make sure that your nuclear force is greater greater than your electrostatic force. So just realize again. The four primary parts of the atom and realize that within the nucleus, it's not a done deal that it's going to hold together and your animal exist. You have these two forces that are kind of like odds with one another, and if one is greater than the other, it can either mean the nucleus is held together or it's broken down and totally destroyed. Now that we've understood the basic parts of the atom, now that we discussed the nucleus, let's continue onward to our next question.