Structure of an Atom

The early atom
Fig 1. The Early Atom

Refer to our page The Classical Atom for more detailed anaylsis of the atomic structure, its forces and its energies.

References are indicated thus: ⁽¹⁾ refers to note 1 at the bottom of this page.

The Atom

Until recently we understood the structure of an atom as shown in Fig 1. It comprised a number of relatively massive solid balls in its centre (the nucleus), about half of which have a positive charge (protons) and the other half have no charge (neutrons). In addition to which, there are approximately half as many tiny packets of energy or mass that orbit the nucleus, each of which has a negative charge (electrons). Bashing these atoms together causes particles and/or radiation (such as alpha, beta, gamma, etc.) to fly off.

However, this model is becoming a little unclear. For example, it now appears that neither protons nor neutrons are solid balls and they may not even possess mass. In fact they both comprise a number of smaller (or elementary) particles, and electrons are themselves elementary particles as are most of the bits that fly off during impact.

The 'Bohr' atom (false)
Fig 2. The 'Bohr' Atom

Elementary Particles

It is now understood that everything is made from elementary particles (Fig 2), and that these elementary particles have a certain amount of energy and/or mass depending upon how fast they are travelling.

This relationship is described in the equation; e=m.c²
where m is measured in, say kg, e is measured in eV and c is measured in m/s

An object with a mass of 1kg at rest (zero velocity) would have zero energy⁽¹⁾ but when travelling at the speed of light, it would have a theoretical mass of zero and an energy of 5.60958915E+035eV⁽²⁾. The mass and energy components of a body can be established by factoring actual speed with light speed in the above equation.

The theory describing the behaviour and relationship between the various elementary particles is currently called super-string theory. This is based upon the assumption that all elementary particles are small strings of energy and/or mass according to their velocity.

For example: The mass component of electrons is small because they are travelling at very high speed. Protons and neutrons appear much more massive because: a) there are at least three elementary particles (quarks, bosons, etc.) in each, and; b) they are moving very slowly. The elementary particles in each are essentially the same but with different states of energy and therefore travelling at different speeds.

The elementary particles we know about today are listed below:

Elementary Particle Family Group Desription
Up Quark Fermion Matter
Down Quark Fermion Matter
Charm Quark Fermion Matter (An up-type quark)
Strange Quark Fermion Matter (A down-type quark)
Top Quark Fermion Matter (An up-type quark)
Bottom Quark Fermion Matter (A down-type quark)
Electron Lepton Fermion Orbits atoms
Electron Neutrino Lepton Fermion Electron with no charge
Muon Lepton Fermion Muon is a heavy electron
Muon Neutrino Lepton Fermion Muon with no charge
Tauon Lepton Fermion Tauon is an even heavier electron
Tauon Neutrino Lepton Fermion Tauon with no charge
Higgs Boson Gives mass to elementary particles
Graviton Boson Gives gravity to elementary particles
Photon Gauge Boson Boson Emits light
Gluon Gauge Boson Boson Binds quarks together
W Gauge Boson Boson Weak force carrier
Z Gauge Boson Boson Weak force carrier

In addition to the elementary particles listed in the above table, there are also antiparticles. These are exactly the same as the elementary particle but they have the opposite electrical charge or magnetic moment. Interaction between a particle and an antiparticle results in a significant discharge of energy.

There is no clear answer as to why such things as charm quarks and muon neutrinos exist, it is simply understood that they do as the empirical evidence appears to indicate as such.

Compound Particles

Compound particles are groups of more than one elementary particle bound together by force or opposite electrical charge.

Name Constituents Family Group
Proton 2 x up quarks & 1 down quark Baryon (Fermion) Hadron
Neutron 1 x up quark & 2 down quarks Baryon (Fermion) Hadron
Meson 1 quark + 1 anti-quark Pion, Eta, Kaon, K, D & B types Hadron
Alpha 2 neutrons plus 2 protons
Beta neutron >> proton+electron

Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation is given off when elementary particles collide. The complete spectrum of electromagnetic radiation has been separated into the following bands:

Name Description
Gamma Rays Very short-wave radiation given off by unstable atoms (e.g. uranium-235) when their protons turn to neutrons as they decay
X-Ray Short-wave radiation given off by unstable atoms (e.g. indium) when their protons turn to neutrons as they decay. Elements with a fairly short half-life
Visible Light All the radiation between ultra-violet light to infra-red light
Microwave Long-wave radiation is produced by electronic equipment and used for heating things up
Radio-wave Very long-wave radiation used for transmitting radio signals

A New Start

According to CalQlata's scientific author (Keith Dixon-Roche), science appears to have stalled since the first quarter of the twentieth century due to the dissemination of highly speculative theories that have been accepted simply because of the prominence of their proposers. Could it be that a hundred years have been wasted in the search for impossible solutions?

Intimidation appears to have been used to impose such theories; one scientist actually declared to Georges Lemaître that his "science was not very good!" and Henri Poincaré's formula incorrect. Another declared of his own theory; "if you aren't profoundly shocked by quantum physics, then you haven't understood it".

Such comments should be treated with extreme caution; if there is one sure thing about nature, it does not need to rely on complexity for an elegant solution.
In fact, it looks highly likely that Newton's, Coulomb's and Lorentz's theories are sufficient to explain everything within and between atoms, including transition between solids, liquids and gases (see The Atom).

Isaac Newton pointed us in the right direction 300 years ago, but since the early 20th century, the entire scientific community seems to have automatically discounted the suitability of his theories for the evaluation of atoms (quantum theory) and galaxies (dark matter)?

For example:
Relativism is based upon the assumption that Henri Poincaré's formula implies kinematics, but this is not the case, it describes a limiting gravitational energy only.
In the 1930s, a scientist prophesied the existence of dark matter because he stated that Newton's laws of motion predict a great deal more matter in the Milky Way than appears through observation. But we now know that this is not the case.

In fact, an awful lot of guesswork appears to be prevalent in science today; e.g.:
1) Dark matter proven unnecessary
2) A black-hole is a neutron star that spins at the speed of light
3) Newtons laws cannot be applied to atomic physics (untrue!)
4) Quantum mechanics remains unproven after 70 years
5) The need for a unification theory
6) The spin in force-centres and satellites cannot be calculated because no forces induce them
7) Bosons, gluons, quarks, leptons, etc. are claimed to be separate and distinct sub-atomic particles but none have yet been discovered
8) If all the material in the earth is compressed to remove all of the atomic space, it would be no bigger than a grain of sand; whereas it would most likely result in a sphere of ≈543 metres in diameter
10) Classical theory predicts an eccentricity of '1' for the electron's orbit, which has been interpreted as flat elliptical orbits but do not reflect reality
11) s, p, d, f orbital electron grouping uniqueness of electrons in any orbital group remains unproven
13) An electron within an atom cannot be found because it moves around its nucleus in random manner at the speed of light
And why has it taken 300 years to solve Newton's 'G' and planetary spin theory?

Keith Dixon-Roche has undertaken an alternative view in that Isaac Newton's laws apply to all science and hopes that his work, published on this site will inspire free-thinking scientists to rejuvenate the subject.


  1. According to the equation e=mc², none of these factors can be zero or all other factors in the equation will also be zero resulting in a non-existent particle
  2. eV/c² for units of equivalent mass - conversion by CalQlata's UniQon calculator
  3. Just like chaos theory and religion, the uncertainty principle could simply be a stop-gap measure used to explain things we do not yet understand
  4. Many people believe a supernova is created by a large black-hole achieving critical mass
    And according to Hubble's observations galaxies are moving away from each other
    But in an infinite universe, it is difficult to rule out a galactic collision and supernovas are rare
    If the great attractor is bringing all the galaxies back together, then a galactic collision is possible
    The strength vs force of two small black-holes in collision may be sufficient to break them apart
    This may not be the case for the ultimate collision: galaxy into the Great Attractor

Further Reading

You will find further reading on this subject in reference publications(31)