An Analogy for the Atom

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This resource, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, is designed for students who have already studied the topic of atomic structure, intra-atomic forces and ‘the atom is a tiny solar system’ comparison. Students are provided with diagrams showing a simple model of an atom and of the solar system and asked questions relating to the forces of attraction acting in each case.

The activity elicits students’ ideas about the forces acting in an atom and in a solar system and provides them with the opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation of the ways in which atoms and solar systems are similar or different. This is to some extent an open-ended task as there is room for students to use their imagination and creativity to suggest comparisons.

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