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Module 1: Atomic Structure

www.radiopharmacycourse.ca

By Laura Stiles-Clarke and James Clarke


Please print a copy of the periodic table
before beginning this lesson.

 Recommended version:
http://www.sciencegeek.net/tables/CA_CST.pdf
The Periodic Table

 The Periodic Table lists all known elements. Some


occur naturally in nature and others are created
synthetically.
 In each box of the periodic table, the symbol (X),
atomic number (Z), atomic mass and the name of
the element are given.
 The Periodic table is organized into columns (groups
or families) and rows (periods). That is, the groups
go vertically and the periods go horizontally.
 The elements are listed in order of increasing atomic
number and their organization is based on the
properties of the elements.
Basics about the atom
 Atomic number (Z): tells the location of the element on the table,
and most importantly tells the number of protons in the nucleus of
the atom.
 Mass number (A): the total of the number of protons + neutrons in
the nucleus. Always a whole number, never a decimal.
 Proton: a positively charged, relatively heavy particle that is found
in the nucleus.
 Neutron: a non-charged (zero charge), relatively heavy particle
found in the nucleus
 Electron: a negatively charged, very very light particle that orbits
the nucleus in circles called shells.
 The electrons are about as far from the nucleus as a speck of dust
would be from a soccer ball in the center of the Toronto Skydome.
Atoms are mostly EMPTY SPACE.
Atomic Structure of Sodium-19
 This is the Bohr model of an atom
of Sodium-19. (What does the 19
indicate?) Note that the protons
and neutrons are in the nucleus, at
the centre of the atom, and the
electrons are in “shells”
surrounding the nucleus.
 This model is based on
experimental research, but to date
no one has ever seen an atom
because they are too small to be
Source: seen by even the most powerful
http://alexteoh.com/Atomic%20Structure.htm
microscopes – about 10-15 m in
diameter for a hydrogen atom.
A more accurate picture (?)

 With further research,


the model has been
refined, and continues
to be refined to this
day.
 While we have a lot of
evidence to help us
picture an atom, we
simply don’t know for
sure what one would Source: http://home.comcast.net/~icuweb/WAW0015.GIF
look like.
Isotopes
 Not all atoms of the same element have the same
number of neutrons. Isotopes are atoms of the
same element that have different numbers of
neutrons. Examples are carbon-12 and carbon-14,
which both have 6 protons (because carbon has
atomic number 6), but carbon-14 has 8 neutrons
and carbon-12 has 6 neutrons. Remember that the
mass number is the number of protons + neutrons.

 Atomic mass: gives a weighted average of the


masses of all the isotopes of an element (that’s why
it’s a decimal number). This is given in the periodic
table for each element, and if rounded off, will give
you the mass number for the most common isotope
of the element.
Isotones
 Isotones are atoms that have the same number of
neutrons and different numbers of protons, which means
that the atoms are of different elements. In a group of
isotones, some or all are usually radioactive.
 The term isotones was coined by replacing the “p” in
isotopes with an “n” for neutrons.
 As an example, the atoms 52He, 63Li, 74Be and 85B,
whose nuclei contain three neutrons each, are isotones.
Among these isotones, 5He decays almost
instantaneously, 6Li is stable, and 7Be and 8B are
radioactive—they have half-lives of 43 days and 0.8 sec,
respectively.
Sources: http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/isotones,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotone
Isobars
 Isobars are atoms having the same mass number,
that is, the same number of protons + neutrons, but
different numbers of protons (and therefore are
different elements). An example is 16N, 16O, and 16F.
 This term comes from the word “isotopes”, but also
includes the beginning of the word “baryons”.
Protons and neutrons are two types of baryons, and
are also referred to as nucleons.
 Be aware that the word isobar is also used in
meteorology to refer to a line of constant pressure
on a weather map. Not the same thing!
Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/baryon
A
ZX notation: Example
 How many protons, neutrons and
electrons are found in an atom of
Chlorine-37?
• The 37 is the mass number, so A=37.
• Find chlorine on the periodic table. The symbol for chlorine is Cl, so X=Cl.
• Find the atomic number of the atom. Chlorine is #17 on the periodic table, so
Z=17.
• This is also the number of protons (17), and the electrons are the same too,
as long as the atom is electrically neutral. This will change with the
introduction of ions in a few pages.
• Write the symbol for the element by writing the mass number up top, the
atomic number down below, and the element’s symbol to the right. (3717Cl).
The atomic number may be omitted since it is implied by the symbol.
• If needed, you may find the number of neutrons by subtracting protons from
mass number (37-17=20) Note that this number can be different from the
protons and electrons.
Fill in the table. Assume all atoms are electrically neutral.
Answers are on the next page.

Atomic # Mass # # protons #neutrons # Isotope


electrons symbol
8 18
226 88
83 Sr
38
2 3
9 7
92 146
1 0
Answers
Atomic # Mass # # protons #neutrons # Isotope
electrons symbol

8 18 8 10 8 18 O
8

88 226 88 138 88 226 Ra


88

38 83 38 45 38 83 Sr
38

2 5 2 3 2 5 He
2

7 16 7 9 7 16 N
7

92 238 92 146 92 238 U


92

1 1 1 0 1 1 H
1
Ions

 An ion is an atom, or group of atoms, with an


electrical charge. This means that the number of
protons is NOT equal to the number of electrons.
 Ions obtain their charges by gaining or losing
electrons from their outer shells. This is a chemical
or physical process, rather than
It would haveaa charge
nuclear one.
of 2+, since it would
 An atom that gained one haveelectron would have one
two protons
extra negative charge, so it would
without have a net charge
corresponding
of 1-. electrons.

 What would be the net charge on an atom that lost


two electrons?
Practice with Ions

 What would be the number of protons, neutrons


and electrons for an atom with this symbol ?
42 2  Answer:
Ca 20 protons since calcium has atomic number 20,
42-20=22 neutrons, 18 electrons since it has
two LESS than the number of protons

 What would be the symbol for an atom with


17 protons, 15 neutrons and 18 electrons?
 Answer: 32Cl1 or 32Cl  Or some combination of
17 these. If the charge is 1+ or
1-, the “1” may be omitted.
Chemical versus Nuclear properties

 A chemical property is a characteristic of matter


that results from the configuration of electrons in the
atom or molecule. Some examples are reactivity, pH
and solubility.
 A nuclear property is a characteristic of matter that
results from the state of its nuclei. An example is
whether the substance is radioactive, and if so with
what half life and what type(s) of decay.
 Chemical reactions (chemical changes) involve only
the electrons in the exteriors of atoms, while nuclear
reactions (nuclear changes) involve the nuclei at the
centres of atoms.
End of module

 Good work!

 Please return to the moodle course site and


complete the Quiz for Module #1.