Meaning of Atomic Nucleus

What is Atomic Nucleus:

The atomic nucleus is the center of the atom, is composed of protons and neutrons, and possesses almost all the mass of the atom.

The existence of the atomic nucleus was discovered by the physicist Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937), who created the Rutherford atomic model, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908.

Atomic nucleus

The atomic nucleus is positively charged and is made up of nucleons. Nucleons are divided into protons and nucleons. Protons have a positive electrical charge while neutrons have a neutral charge.

The importance of the atomic nucleus lies in the fact that it constitutes the largest part of an atom and its protons indicate the type of chemical element that is observed.

Characteristics of the atomic nucleus

Rutherford’s atomic model shows that all the positive charge and mass of the atom are gathered in the atomic nucleus. The atomic nucleus is characterized by having almost the total mass of an atom (more than 99%).

The atomic nucleus, in addition, is characterized by having nucleons that are divided into protons and neutrons. Protons have a positive charge and neutrons have a neutral charge, therefore, the electric charge of the atomic nucleus is positive.

See also Atom.

Properties of the atomic nucleus

The atomic nucleus has orbits in which electrons with a negative electrical charge revolve that counteract the positive charge of the protons in the nucleus. In this way, the atoms present a neutral total electrical charge.

The atomic nucleus is made up of protons whose quantity defines the atomic number of the chemical element. In chemistry, for example, the atomic number will determine the number of protons in the atoms, which will in turn define the observed chemical element.

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See also chemical element.

In addition, the atomic nucleus is linked to the atomic shell, the largest layer that surrounds the nucleus, by electromagnetic interaction.

The behavior and properties of an atomic nucleus are studied by nuclear physics. This science also studies the ability to obtain energy through nuclear fission, that is, combining two light nuclei into a heavier one. The creation of energy from nuclear fission resides in the instability of the atomic nucleus, which does not have the same number of protons as neutrons.

See also: Nuclear physics

structure of the atomic nucleus

The structure of the atomic nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons. Protons have a positive electrical charge and neutrons have a neutral charge. Protons and neutrons are the same size and both are called the nucleons of the atomic nucleus.