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Unformatted text preview: Atoms consist of positively charged particles called protons surrounded by negatively charged particles called electrons. A third particle called the neutron has no electrical charge; it has the same weight as a proton. Protons and neutrons adhere tightly to form the dense, positively charged nucleus of the atom. Electrons spin around the nucleus in orbits, or shells. The arrangement of electrons in an atom plays an essential role in the chemistry of the atom. Atoms are most stable when their outer shell of electrons has a full quota, which may be two electrons or eight electrons. Atoms tend to gain or lose electrons until their outer shells have this stable arrangement. The gaining or losing of electrons contributes to the chemical reactions in which an atom participates....
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- Fall '07