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Figure 2.2 (OpenStax, Biology 2e) caption: Elements, such as helium, depicted here, are made up of atoms. Atoms are made up of protons and neutrons located within the nucleus, with electrons in orbitals surrounding the nucleus.
What is an atom? It is the smallest particle of an element, and everything is made up of atoms. They consist of three basic particles: protons, electrons, and neutrons. The scientific community has experienced significant breakthroughs which have contributed to the understanding of atoms. Other topics covered include atomic number, atomic mass, Bohr model, electron cloud, and isotope.
Diagram of a helium atom. Design modalities for the image include braille with and without labels, print with and without labels in greyscale, color, and texture.
Diagram of a lithium atom. Design modalities for the image include braille with and without labels, print with and without labels in greyscale, color, and texture.
Remixed from Customizable Atom Delux by roman_hegglin. Helium is a chemical element with symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas, the first in the noble gas group in the periodic table. Its boiling point is the lowest among all the elements.
In nuclear physics, nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei come close enough to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles (neutrons and/or protons). The difference in mass between the products and reactants is manifested as the release of large amounts of energy. This difference in mass arises due to the difference in atomic "binding energy" between the atomic nuclei before and after the reaction. Fusion is the process that powers active or "main sequence" stars, or other high magnitude stars.
Gravity rules the life cycle of stars. During the Red Giant dying stage in the life of an average size star, its outer layers are blown off in vast clouds of dust and gas called "nebulae" that contain hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Gravity crushes the remaining atoms into a remnant core called a white dwarf. The gravity of giant stars-10 to 20 times larger than average-will, at the end of their life in a supernova explosion, crush together even mutually repulsive protons and electrons, leaving a remnant rotating core of neutrons (i.e., a pulsar). Also explains how stars 20 to 100 times average size collapse into a core so dense that its gravity doesn't even allow light to escape (i.e., a black hole).
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