1. Describe the composition of the nucleus of an atoms in terms of protons and neutrons. 2. Define proton numbers and nucleon number.
3. Explain the terms nuclide. 4. Use the nuclide notation A Z


5. Define the term isotope.
6. Describe the experiment to prove the atomic model

Matter is made up of very small particles called atoms

Each atom has a very small and very dense core called nucleus. Most of the mass of atom is contained in the nucleus

Structure of an Atom

proton Nucleus



The positively charged mass within an atom, composed of neutrons and protons, and possessing most of the mass but occupying only a small fraction of the volume of the atom.//


• The electrons move in orbits around the nucleus. • There are a lot of empty space within atom • A nucleus consists of a number of proton and neutron. • Protons and neutrons also known as nuclide. • A proton has a positive charge. • A neutron is a neutral particle of about the same mass as the proton. • An atom is neutral because it contains an equal number of negatively charged electrons. So the net charge is zero.

Define proton number, Z
• Proton number, Z, is defined as the number of protons in a nucleus. • The number of protons = the number of electrons • An element is identified by its proton number

Define nucleon number (A)
• Nucleon number, A is defined as the total number of protons and neutrons in a nucleus. It is also known as mass number. • Nucleon number, A = number of proton Z + number of neutrons


What is nuclide?
• A nuclide is an atom of a particular structure. Each element has nucleus with a specific number of protons.


Nuclide Notation
X Z Example • • • • A = nucleon number Z = proton number X = chemical symbol of the element
12 6


Proton number of carbon = ___, Number of proton = _____ Number of electron = ___ Number of neutron = ______

Define Isotope

Isotopes are atoms with the same proton number but different nucleon number.

• Isotopes of an element contain the same number of protons and the same number of electrons. So isotopes have the same chemical properties chemical reactions involve the electrons in an atom. • However they have different physical properties because their mass is different. • Some isotopes exist naturally. Isotopes can also be made artificially.


History of Rutherford Atomic Model
Geiger and Marsden planned and carried out an experiment proposed by Sir Ernest Rutherford and found evidence for Rutherford Model. They fired a stream of alpha particles at a very thin gold foil and counted how many alpha particles were scattered at a number of different angles.

Geiger and Marsden experiment

The result and the conclusion of the experiment is simplified in the table below:
Most of the alpha particles passed straight through the foil in their original direction.

Most of the space taken up by an atom must be completely empty. A very small nucleus is placed at the centre of the atom.

The result and the conclusion of the experiment is simplified in the table below:
Result Conclusion

A few alphas particles were deflected through very small angles

The nucleus are positively charged. The alpha particles also positively charged are repelled by the nucleus because repulsion force is produced between the like electric charges.

The result and the conclusion of the experiment is simplified in the table below:
Result A very small number of alpha particles were bounced back by the gold foil. Conclusion The alpha particles collides head on with the nucleus