Essay by 50High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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Why are atoms considered the basic building blocks of matter even though smaller particles such as protons and electrons exist?

Everything around us is made up of atoms. The chair you sit on is made up of atoms, the pages of a book, the air you breathe, the grass, rocks, and trees out doors are all made up of atoms. An atom is incredibly tiny--more than a million times smaller than the thickness of a human hair. The smallest speck that can be seen under an ordinary microscope contains more than 10 billion atoms. The diameter of an atom ranges from about 0.1 to 0.5 nanometer. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or about 1/25,400,000 inch. Atoms form the building blocks of the simplest substances, the chemical elements. That is why they are considered the basic building blocks of matter. The elements have to start from somewhere to get started.

Hydrogen, oxygen, iron, and lead are elements. Each of these elements has 1 basic kind of element.

What parts of Dalton's atomic theory no longer agree with the current picture of the atom? Explain why.

Some of Daltons original theories were wrong but the basic concepts are still the basics of modern physical science, Dalton's theories were: 1- all matter consists of tiny particles called atoms. #2- atoms are indestructible and unchangeable. #3- elements are characterized by the mass of there atoms#4- when elements react, their atoms combine in simple whole number ratios. Daltons #1 theory is different now because it was discovered that atoms could be changed into different elements. His third theory was also proven wrong because their atomic number or the number of protons characterizes elements not by the mass.