Electrons in Atoms and Molecules

The interactions of electrons with matter are central to many technologies from transistors to sophisticated quantum computing.

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The interactions of electrons with matter have great explanatory power and are central to many technologies from transistors, diodes, smoke detectors, and dosemeters to sophisticated imaging, lasers, and quantum computing. A conceptual grasp of the interactions of electrons in general allows students to acquire deeper understanding that can be applied to a very broad range of technologies.

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Download Size: 70 KB

WARNING: Your data will not be saved. To save data, run this activity as a registered user. You can register at the project portal. Please view the requirements below before launching this activity.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 4D/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that atoms are made of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is a tiny fraction of the volume of an atom but makes up almost all of its mass. The nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons which have roughly the same mass but differ in that protons are positively charged while neutrons have no electric charge.
  • 4D/H2*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the number of protons in the nucleus determines what an atom's electron configuration can be and so defines the element. An atom's electron configuration, particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can interact with other atoms. Atoms form bonds to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons.
  • 4D/H7a. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that atoms often join with one another in various combinations in distinct molecules or in repeating three-dimensional crystal patterns.
  • 4D/H8. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the configuration of atoms in a molecule determines the molecule's properties. Shapes are particularly important in how large molecules interact with others.
  • 4D/H9b. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that some atoms and molecules are highly effective in encouraging the interaction of others.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 4G/H2a*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that electric forces acting within and between atoms are vastly stronger than the gravitational forces acting between the atoms. At larger scales, gravitational forces accumulate to produce a large and noticeable effect, whereas electric forces tend to cancel each other out.
  • 4G/H2b*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that at the atomic level, electric forces between electrons and protons in atoms hold molecules together and thus are involved in all chemical reactions.
  • 4G/H8** (BSL). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the motion of electrons is far more affected by electrical forces than protons are because electrons are much less massive and are outside of the nucleus.

10. Historical Perspectives

10F. Understanding Fire
  • 10F/H5*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that since Lavoisier and Dalton, the system for describing chemical reactions has been vastly extended to account for the configuration taken by atoms when they bond to one another and to describe the inner workings of atoms that account for why they bond as they do.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="">The Concord Consortium. Electrons in Atoms and Molecules. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, August 15.</a>

AIP
Electrons in Atoms and Molecules (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, August 15), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

AJP
Electrons in Atoms and Molecules (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, August 15), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

APA
Electrons in Atoms and Molecules. (2010, August 15). Retrieved 2017, June 29, from The Concord Consortium: https://concord.org/

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

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This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

The download for this activity will require 70 KB of disk space.

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Comments

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Please make your simulators iPad compatible. W have a school full of them and none of your resources are being used. They are great but not accessible!

Thanks for the comment. We are working on making all our resources tablet-friendly going forward. However, as you point out, some of them aren't.

You can find some of our available tablet-friendly resources by going to the STEM Resource Finder home page and checking off "Tablet Friendly" in the list of filters on the left hand side. Hope that's helpful.

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Electron TechnologiesThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Electron Technologies project.

Grade Level
High School, Higher Education
Subject
Chemistry
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
Rating
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