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What is tin? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2018-04-16T14:02:21+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Like the other metals, tin is one of the heavier kinds of atoms. Every atom of tin has 50 protons and 69 neutrons in its nucleus (depending on the isotope; the exact kind of tin). Like other metals, all tin atoms form inside older stars that have become supernovas. On Earth, tin is very common. [...]

What is sulphur? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T17:25:58+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a sulphur atom Sulphur atoms fall near the middle of the scale: they are heavier than silicon but lighter than iron. Every atom of sulphur has 16 protons and generally 16 neutrons. Like silicon and iron, all atoms of sulphur are made inside stars that are getting older and have used [...]

Steam and water – Simple Science – Chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T16:05:45+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Swimming in natural hot springs in Iceland When water gets very hot, it boils and turns into steam. This happens at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. The water turns into steam because you (or something else: in the picture it is the volcano nearby) is adding energy in the form of [...]

What is sodium? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T15:58:08+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a sodium atom Sodium is an atom that has 11 protons and 12 neutrons in its nucleus and 11 electrons circling around its nucleus. Like other light atoms such as carbon, sodium forms inside of stars that are beginning to run out of fuel, and it scatters all over space when [...]

What is silicon? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2018-04-24T14:46:23+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a silicon atom When a red giant star is getting older and runs out of helium fuel, it starts to convert the oxygen atoms in the star into silicon atoms. All silicon is made this way, inside a red giant star. Silicon is heavier than oxygen, because oxygen has only eight protons [...]

What is a proton? Atoms and Chemistry

By | 2018-04-24T14:44:15+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry, Physics|

Autzen Stadium, in Eugene Oregon, seats 54,000 people A proton is a tiny particle, smaller than an atom. Protons are too small to see, even with an electron microscope, but we know they must be there because that's the only way we can explain how atoms behave. To give you an idea how [...]

What is phosphorus? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T15:39:41+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Biology, Chemistry|

Diagram of a phosphorus atom Phosphorus atoms have fifteen protons and sixteen neutrons, so they're just a little lighter than sulphur atoms, in the middle of the range for atoms. Stars make phosphorus when two oxygen atoms get very hot and squash together into one phosphorus atom. All living things, both plants and [...]

What is oxygen? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2018-04-24T14:46:22+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of an oxygen atom When a star has changed all of its hydrogen atoms into helium, it turns into a red giant and moves on to convert the helium atoms into carbon atoms and oxygen atoms. All of the oxygen in the universe starts out inside stars. Then when all the helium is used up, [...]

What is nitrogen? Atoms, Elements, Chemistry

By | 2018-04-24T14:46:22+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a nitrogen atom Inside a red giant star, the star smashes lighter atoms together. Smashing atoms gets the star energy to burn, and also leaves extra heavier atoms. Nitrogen is one of these heavier atoms, left over when a star smashes together carbon atoms. Nitrogen is not very heavy, though, and a [...]

What is a neutron? Atoms and Chemistry

By | 2018-04-24T14:46:25+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry, Physics|

A neutron star (from NASA) A neutron is a tiny particle like a proton, smaller than an atom. Like protons, neutrons are too small to see, even with an electron microscope, but we know they must be there because that's the only way we can explain how atoms behave. All neutrons, everywhere in [...]