An overview of what makes the atom.
From the time of John Dalton, it was know that all matter was made up of tiny particles called atoms. It was said that these atoms could combine together to form compounds such as water. To understand what an atom is one should remember that there are three sub-atomic particles which are a: positively charged proton, a negatively charged electron, and a neutral particle called a neutron. The main part of the atom called the nucleus contains most of the mass within the atom.
As seen in the image above, the atom is mostly empty space. However from the atomic mass we can find the number of protons and neutrons that are contained within a particular atom. It is also possible for atoms to have different numbers of neutrons, these are called isotopes. Isotopes that are radioactive have uses in fields such as medicine in x-rays, and radiation therapy.
While everything around us is made up of atoms it is the electrons that cause reactions to take place and compounds to be created. It is these compounds which we encounter in our daily lives in many places such as the kitchen to the parts that make up your computer. Through the atom we can experience the world in a different way.