At the end of the 19th century, physicists were finally beginning to understand the nature of matter itself, including the discovery of electrons – tiny particles of negative charge that surround the nucleus. Here’s how J.J. Thompson separated the electrons from their atoms and uncovered their nature.
It’s no mystery that the planets, moons, asteroids, etc. in the Solar System are arranged in a more-or-less flat, plate-like alignment in their orbits around the Sun.* But why is that? In a three-dimensional Universe, why should anything have a particular alignment at all? In yet another entertaining video from the folks at MinutePhysics, we […]
I’m often asked by students in my community education astronomy classes whether any new elements have been found in outer space unknown on Earth. The answer to the question is no – nature uses the same 98 natural elements to fashion everything from the familiar stars and planets to those in the farthest galaxies we […]
[/caption] When we think about light we don’t really think about what it is made of. This was actually the subject one of the most important arguments in physics. For the longest time physicists and scientist tried to determine if light was a wave or a particle. There were the physicists of the eighteenth century […]
[/caption] The answer to ‘what is atomic mass’ is this: the total mass of the protons, neutrons, and electrons in a single atom when it is at rest. This is not to be associated or mistaken for atomic weight. Atomic mass is measured by mass spectrometry. You can figure the molecular mass of an compound […]
[/caption] If you have heard of electrons you know that they have something to do with electricity and atoms. If so you are mostly right in describing what are electrons. Electrons are the subatomic particles that orbit the nucleus of an atom. They are generally negative in charge and are much smaller than the nucleus […]
[/caption] Believe it or not, there are actually several atomic mass units … however, the one that’s standard – throughout chemistry, physics, biology, etc – is the unified atomic mass unit (symbol u). It is defined as 1/12 (one-twelfth) of the mass of an isolated carbon-12 atom, in its ground state, at rest. You’ll still […]