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Atoms and Elements

Chapter 4 terms and definitions

TermDefinition
Atom The smallest unit of an element that retains the properties of the element.
Atomic Theory The development of our understanding of the atom and all that goes with it.
Subatomic Anything that is smaller than an atom.
Nucleus The central core of an atom that contains both protons and neutrons.
Proton A small, positively charged particle found in the nucleus of an atom.
Electron A tiny, negatively charged particle that moves around the outside of the nucleus.
Neutron A small particle found in the nucleus that has no charge.
Charge A physical property of matter that determines what a subatomic particle will do.
Atomic Number A number used to identify an element and is equal to the number of protons in an atom.
Isotope Atoms with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons than expected.
Periods Horizontal rows on the periodic table.
Groups Vertical columns on the periodic table.
Chemical Symbol A one to three letter abbreviation for an element's name which is universally understood.
Fusion The process through which new elements are created.
Radioactivity The spontaneous emission of radiation by an unstable nucleus.
Alpha Decay Positively charged particles that contain two protons and two neutrons.
Beta Decay Negatively charged particles that are made of fast moving electrons, given off during radioactive decay.
Gamma Waves Neutral waves of high energy and the most powerful form of radioactive decay.
Created by: jtill