Scale: 10-12 meters = 1 pm = 1 picometer

Within the Electron Cloud

The tiny dot in the center of this image is the nucleus of the carbon atom. We no longer see the clouds of electron charge because we are now inside the p shell of the carbon atom. When physicists were studying how atoms were constructed, high energy beams of electrons were aimed at thin sheets of metal. Most of the electrons went straight through the target. Occasionally, though, an electron would be reflected sharply back toward the incoming stream. These results indicated that the positive charge of the atom was concentrated in a minute core at the center of the atom. Most of the negatively charged electrons went straight through the target because they were traveling too fast to be affected by the positively charged protons in the nucleus. Those few electrons that came close to the nucleus, however, would be reflected at sharp angles.


Copyright © 2016 by Bruce Bryson