Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 Atoms Molecules and Life...

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Chapter 2: Atoms, Molecules, and Life Understanding chemistry is important because interaction between atoms is one of lowest levels of biological organisms ? Atom = smallest unit of organisms o basic unit of all forms of matter o smallest unit that retains physical and chemical properties of element o made up of neutrons, protons, electrons (fig 2.1) protons = (+) particles at nucleus of atom neutrons = uncharged particles at nucleus of atom electrons = (-), light, orbit nucleus in electron shells collection of atoms of same type form elements o can’t be broken down into other substances by chemical reactions O, C, H, N are the 4 most common elements in living organisms Atomic weight = # of protons (+) and # of neutrons o The atoms of a particular element may have different number of neutrons Results in isotopes Different atomic weights o The electron orbitals 3D space around the nucleus of an atom where an electron will be found 90% of the time the electron orbitals of an atom are arranged in electron shells based on their energy level only care about outer level, trying to fill it up, determines reactivity and bondness atom with incomplete electron shell is reactive full electron shell is inert (not reactive) ? an inert element = has full outer electron shell o hindenburg = 1937 = hydrogen, reactive, combustible o
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