Be More Curious
let’s look at how elements are made, let’s play God for a while. There is justone rule in the game you need to follow. All elements should be neutral at the end of it. That is they can neither be positive, nor can they be negative. But you know that protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged. Now I will try taking a proton and I will hook it of with one electron. And what do I get? I dish out the first element, which is hydrogen. Next I try taking two protons and putting them together, but they hate each other so does this take you back to basic physics concept that is like charges repel. So what do I have to do? I will bring a little friend, known as neutron. The element is now positively charged. But remember I told you that the elements needs to be neutral so put in to electrons and they bind together with strong molecular forces and what do I get? I get a helium balloon. So if need to make elements, we need to add more and more protons, more and more neutrons and more and more electrons. So if I have 3 protons, I will have my next element which is lithium, 4 protons, beryllium 5, boron 6, carbon 7 nitrogen 8 oxygen and so on and so on and so on. so now you know what needs to be done to get that corrected ph right? Find the new element with ___ protons and __ electrons and you can be on your way. But mind you it is not that easy it turns out in nature that every element from one proton, which is hydrogen to 92 protons which is uranium are naturally occurring. Although few elements in this are very very scares. The nuclei becomes large and stable beyond uranium. If all about so quickly that we don’t see them in nature. we physics can make nuclei with more than 92 protons. But they do not survive long and need to be artificially created in the lab. So we know now that more elements are formed by increasing the number of protons and electrons. Hei then what about neutrons? We cant leave out our friend neutron. can we? So what happens if you playing around with the number of neutrons? You will create avatars of elements. So do you see avatars of all elements in nature? Not really because they are so unstable that they cannot hang around for a long time. one of the useful and most famous avatars of elements are those of carbon also known as carbon 12. It is the stablest form of carbon. This is so very very important element, because 25% of all living things are made out of carbon. Why carbon 12? Because it has got 6 protons and 6 neutrons. So 6 + 6 is going equivalent to 12. So I am not intelligent? So the avatars of carbon 12 are carbon 13 and carbon 14. One carbon atom out of every 100,has one extra neutron, and that is called the carbon 13. This is just like the basic carbon 12, other than the fact that yea you guess that right? It is a little heavier. Then, there is one more rarer avatar of carbon, formed when cosmic rays strike hydrogen, high up in the atmosphere. Why nitrogen? Because nitrogen has got 7 protons and 7 neutrons and cosmic rays convert one of the protons in to a neutron. So now it become, 6 protons and 8 neutrons, which is going to give you carbon 14. Carbon 14 is an unstable element,and it decays back into nitrogen over time. now I am going to give you the technical name of all these avatrs. It is known as isotopes. So what are isotopes? What are the technical definition of isotopes? These are elements having the same number of protons but having different number of neutrons.