the Physics Education Technology Project
This simulation is designed to help learners visualize atomic structure, as they drag protons, neutrons, and electrons to construct an atom. As particles are moved into place in the nucleus or the electron orbits, the simulation automatically displays the net charge, mass number, atomic symbol, and name of the element. After practicing with atom-building, users can test their skills against the clock in a game with four levels of increasing difficulty. See Related Materials for a lesson plan and student guide developed by the PhET project specifically for use with Build An Atom.
The atom building simulation, which must be open and displayed to complete this activity, is available from PhET at: Build An Atom.
This lesson is part of PhET (Physics Education Technology Project), a large collection of free interactive simulations for science education.
Please note that this resource requires
Java Applet Plug-in.
6-8: 4D/M1a. All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.
6-8: 4D/M1b. The atoms of any element are like other atoms of the same element, but are different from the atoms of other elements.
9-12: 4D/H1. 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.
9-12: 4D/H2. 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.
9-12: 4D/H5. Scientists continue to investigate atoms and have discovered even smaller constituents of which neutrons and protons are made.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11B/M1. 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.
6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
%0 Electronic Source %D June 18, 2011 %T PhET Simulation: Build An Atom %I Physics Education Technology Project %V 2013 %N 23 May 2013 %8 June 18, 2011 %9 application/java %U http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/build-an-atom
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