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What is uranium? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2018-04-16T23:49:23+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry, Physics|

Diagram of a uranium atom Uranium is a rare atom, not just on Earth but also in space and on other planets. There is not very much uranium anywhere. That's because, like lead or gold, uranium only forms inside exploding supernovas. Because uranium atoms have so many protons and neutrons in them, they don't [...]

What is tin? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2018-04-16T14:02:21+00:00June 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+00:00June 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 [...]

What is sodium? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2017-06-02T15:58:08+00:00June 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 phosphorus? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2017-06-02T15:39:41+00:00June 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 nitrogen? Atoms, Elements, Chemistry

By |2018-04-24T14:46:22+00:00June 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 iron? Atoms, elements, chemistry

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

Diagram of an iron atom When a red giant star finishes changing all of its helium into carbon and oxygen, it then starts to turn the carbon and oxygen atoms into iron atoms. Iron is the heaviest kind of atom that a star can make, so when a star has made most of its carbon and oxygen [...]