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Atomic Structure

In the world around us, a good understanding of what is happening at the atomic level forms the basis for a true understanding of electricity, magnetism and the properties of different engineering materials.

This package of 6 interactive animations can be used in the classroom to describe the structure of an atom, the different elements in the periodic table and explain the different types of bonding (covalent bonds, ionic bonds and metallic bonds).

Atomic Structure Interactive Animations

 

The Structure of an Atom

Instructors can build up the structure of an atom, step-by-step, to describe the nucleus (protons and neutrons) and the electrons which occupy the inner and outer shells.

Example of a carbon atom

Build up and describe the structure of an atom.

 

Elements Within the Periodic Table

Using a section of the periodic table (showing the first 3 rows) instructors can select and describe each of the different elements.

The elements in the periodic table

Select different elements from the periodic table to describe their atoms.

 

Covalent Bonds

Instructors can clearly explain the process of covalent bonding using a variety of atoms (hydrogen, carbon and oxygen). These can be brought together to form a variety of different molecules and compounds (molecular hydrogen, molecular oxygen, water, methane and carbon dioxide).

Covalent bonds between hydrogen and oxygen atoms in a water molecule

Explain the covalent bonds that form when atoms share their valence electrons.

 

Ionic Bonds

Using interactive models of sodium and chlorine atoms, instructors can demonstrate how an ionic bond is formed as the chlorine atom strips the sodium atom of its only valance electron, thereby turning the chlorine atom into negatively charged anion and the sodium atom into a positively charged cation.

Ionic bond between sodium cation and chlorine anion

Demonstrate how ionic bonds form when electrons pass from one atom to another.

 

Metallic Bonds

This interactive animation enables a clear explanation of how the electrons in metallic bonds become a "sea of electrons", shared between many metal atoms in the area, thereby giving metals their well-known properties such as malleability and conductivity.

Metallic bonds between aluminium atoms

Explain how a "sea of electrons" is formed to create a metallic bond.

 

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