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Thread: Question on atom structure please

  1. #1 Question on atom structure please 
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    Ok so I am revising some biology concepts (after 20 years or so) and in order to do this I am looking at molecules chemical bonds.
    When I read these texts, they describe atoms as being composed of electrons, protons and neutrons. The basic idea seems to be about sharing electrons in the outer shells and relationships between positive and negative charges in the structure so that everything is seeking a stable outer shell - seems ok so far...

    But what about Positrons? I thought there were the opposite of electrons and had the same sort of mass? Why aren't these things operating in the molecular equations?
    Its seems the biology books I am reading dont even mention them????

    what gives?

    thanks

    Zero


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  3. #2  
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    Positrons are antimatter and annihilate on contact with regular matter; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annihilate.
    The positive regular matter constituent of an atom is the proton, and is found in the nucleus; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton.


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  4. #3  
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    thanks for the reply

    OK so they are antimatter (whatever that is), I assume they orbit the nucleus and stuff like that? Why dont they figure when a molecule is constructed?

    I realise my questions are niave

    when a molecule or bond is constructed it seems that only neutrons, protons and electrons are accounted for, is this right? If so why not all the other particles I keep hearing about? I suppose quarks and charms and higgs boyson particles are way to small or something?

    Also is a 'particle' an actual 'particle' as in a three dimensional entity that has prperties like surfaces volume and weight? There is an actual 'thing/particle' that is doing the orbiting. isn't there?

    I dont understand quantum, but I do think I have heard that the orbits are really probability spheres of where one is most likely to find a particle... but again, it is true that there is an actual particle somewhere, not just say a force field glitch?
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  5. #4  
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    For chemistry all you need to understand is proton's, electron's, and neutron's. Don't worry about the rest.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero
    thanks for the reply

    OK so they are antimatter (whatever that is), I assume they orbit the nucleus and stuff like that? Why dont they figure when a molecule is constructed?

    I realise my questions are niave

    when a molecule or bond is constructed it seems that only neutrons, protons and electrons are accounted for, is this right? If so why not all the other particles I keep hearing about? I suppose quarks and charms and higgs boyson particles are way to small or something?

    Also is a 'particle' an actual 'particle' as in a three dimensional entity that has prperties like surfaces volume and weight? There is an actual 'thing/particle' that is doing the orbiting. isn't there?

    I dont understand quantum, but I do think I have heard that the orbits are really probability spheres of where one is most likely to find a particle... but again, it is true that there is an actual particle somewhere, not just say a force field glitch?
    Quarks are constituents of neutrons and protons. For chemistry they can be ignored, since they don't have a direct role.

    The quarks for neutrons and protons are called up and down. There are other quarks, which have a transient existence, with names strange, charm, down, and up.

    Higgs bosons are theoretical particles which in the Standard Model of particle physics are related to the question of where does mass come from. They have never been observed - the LHC is trying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero
    thanks for the reply

    OK so they are antimatter (whatever that is), I assume they orbit the nucleus and stuff like that? Why dont they figure when a molecule is constructed?
    Because, except in rare cases, there are no positrons in normal matter. There are some radioactive elements that emit positrons as part of their decay, put these positrons don't past long, since the instant they come across an electron they both vanish in a flash of gamma rays.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
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  8. #7  
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    Thanks again all, for the clarifications.

    So a neutron proton and electron are real particles with three dimensional properties?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero
    Thanks again all, for the clarifications.

    So a neutron proton and electron are real particles with three dimensional properties?
    They are real particles. What do mean by "three dimensional properties"?
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    By three dimensional properties I mean height width and depth (vulume), I suppose I could add location.

    I have read stuff about not knowing where these aprticles are located (uncertainty principle) what I am thinking is that idf we cant determine where these particles might be then how can we even know they are particles? If I have never seen my black cat then how do I know its a cat and has the property black?
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero
    By three dimensional properties I mean height width and depth (vulume), I suppose I could add location.

    I have read stuff about not knowing where these aprticles are located (uncertainty principle) what I am thinking is that idf we cant determine where these particles might be then how can we even know they are particles? If I have never seen my black cat then how do I know its a cat and has the property black?
    The location is subject to the limitations of the uncertainty principle.

    The dimensions themselves are not precise numbers. Quantum theory is the best description.
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