Isotope

Isotope

Isotope Isotopes are different “versions” of an element. All atoms of an element have the same number of protons. For example, all hydrogen atoms have one proton, all carbon atoms have 6 protons, and all uranium atoms have 92 protons. However, atoms of an element can have different numbers of neutrons. Most carbon atoms ...

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Atomic Mass

Atomic Mass

Atomic Mass Atomic Mass One way scientists measure the size of something is by its mass. Scientists can even measure very, very tiny things like atoms. One measure of the size of an atom is its “atomic mass”. Almost all of the mass of an atom (more than 99%) is in ...

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Atomic Number

Atomic Number

Atomic Number Atomic Number The nucleus of an atom has protons and neutrons in it. Each element (like carbon or oxygen or gold) has a different number of protons in its atoms. Scientists have a special name for the number of protons in an atom. They call it the “atomic number”. Why is the atomic numbemr important? Normal ...

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Atomic Nucleus

Atomic Nucleus

Atomic Nucleus Atomic Nucleus Atoms are composed of a massive, central nucleus surrounded by a swarm of fast-moving electrons. The nucleus is made up of protons and, in most cases, neutrons. Almost all of the mass (more than 99%) of an atom is contained in the dense nucleus. An atomic nucleus is much, much smaller than an ...

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Atoms

Atoms

Atoms Atoms are the smallest size pieces that elements come in. Each atom has a small but heavy nucleus at its center. A cloud of tiny, fast-moving electrons orbit around the nucleus. The nucleus contains at least one proton. The nucleus usually also has neutrons. Most of the time there are about as many neutrons as ...

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Spectra

Spectra

Spectra Spectra Minerals of a planet’s surface, and molecules of an atmosphere give off light of various colors. Some rocks emit more light in the blue end of the spectrum than the red, and so on. These colors are very hard to see without special cameras. The colors are different ...

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Photon

Photon

Photon Photon Light is very strange. Sometimes it is best to think of light as a series of waves. At other times, it is useful to think of light as a swarm of particles. When we think of light as particles, we call those particles of light “photons”. Photons are ...

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Gamma Ray Radiation

Gamma Ray Radiation

Gamma Ray Radiation Gamma ray Radiation are an extremely high-energy form of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. Gamma ray radiation has a much, much shorter wavelength than visible light, so gamma ray photons have much, much higher energies than photons of light do. Gamma rays lie at the extreme high-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum. ...

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X-ray Radiation

X-ray Radiation

X-ray Radiation X-rays are a high-energy type of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. X-ray radiation has a much shorter wavelength than visible light, so X-ray photons have much higher energies than photons of light. X-rays lie between ultraviolet “light” and gamma rays on the electromagnetic spectrum. X-ray-s have wavelengths between about 10 nanometers (10 x 10-9 meters) and 10 picometers (10 x 10-12 meters). X-ray ...

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