Atomic Structure

At GCSE students learn about the composition of atoms in terms of their particles and the properties of the particles in terms of their relative charges and masses. Although determining the number of protons, neutrons and electrons from the atomic number and mass number is in principle very straight forward it is an idea that often trips students up in exams due to inaccurate recall and it is worth making students aware of this.

Students need to understand how and why the model of the atom has changed over time and this presents a nice opportunity to discuss the process of the scientific method with students.

An understanding of electronic configuration leads naturally to a link between the electronic configuration and position of the element in the periodic table and its importance as a predictive tool in our understanding of chemical behaviour.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or other recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance