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Name: _____________________________________________ Date: ______________________________ E.Q. “ What is the structure of an atom?” An atom is the _smallest______________ unit of ___matter__________. Atoms are made up of three main sub-atomic particles: Proton Has a positive (+) electrical charge. Found in the nucleus of an atom. Number of protons = atomic number. Number of protons identifies the element (atom). More massive than electrons. Neutron Has no electrical charge (neutral). Found in the nucleus of an atom. More massive than electrons. Protons + Neutrons = Atomic Mass Isotopes form when an element (atom) has gained or lost neutron(s). Electron Has a negative (-) electrical charge. Have very little mass. Move around outside the nucleus in orbitals (shells, energy levels). Electrons with the lowest energy are found in orbitals closest to the nucleus. Higher energy farther from nucleus. Electrons determine reactivity (how likely an atom is to form bonds). Electrons in the outermost orbital are called valence electrons. Ions form when an atom gains or loses electron(s) through bonding.