Simple english c01/Structure and parts
Structure and parts modifier
The complex atom is made up of three main particles; the proton, the neutron and the electron. The isotope of Hydrogen Hydrogen-1 has no neutrons, and a positive hydrogen ion has no electrons. These are the only known exceptions, all other atoms have at least one proton, neutron and electron each.
Electrons are by far the smallest of the three, their mass and size is too small to be measured using current technology.
They have a negative charge. Protons and neutrons are similar sizes. Protons are positively charged and neutrons have no charge. Most atoms have a neutral charge; because the number of protons (positive) and electrons (negative) are the same, the charges balance out to zero. However in ions (different number of electrons) this is not always the case and they can have a positive or a negative charge. Protons and Neutrons are made out of quarks, of two types; up quarks and down quarks. A proton is made of two up quarks and one down quark and a neutron is made of two down quarks and one up quark.
Electrons orbit or go around the nucleus. They are called the atom's electron cloud. They are attracted towards the nucleus because of the electromagnetic force. Electrons have a negative charge and the nucleus always has a positive charge, so they attract each other. Around the nucleus some electrons are further out than others. These are called electron shells. In most atoms the first shell has two electrons, and all after that have eight. Exceptions are rare, but they do happen and are difficult to predict.
The further away the electron is from the nucleus, the weaker the pull of the nucleus on it. This is why bigger atoms, with more electrons, react more easily with other atoms. The electromagnetism of the nucleus is not enough to hold onto their electrons and they lose them to the strong attraction of smaller atoms.