We all like to take things apart, and always find something smaller inside, for example, if we take a small remote controlled car apart, there are motor, gears and wires inside. If we continue breaking the motor into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually we will find that all matter is made from different types of atoms, i.e., everything is made of atoms . A single atom is about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair and can only be seen using a powerful electron microscope.

AtomMost atoms have three different subatomic particles inside them, protons, neutrons and electrons. The protons and neutrons are packed together forming a nucleus in the center of the atom. Each proton in the nucleus of an atom has a tiny positive charge, and this effectively means the nucleus is a big clump of positive charge. The electron which has a negative charge, is so much smaller than the proton and orbit around the neucleus of the atom. Atoms are electrically neutral because they have the same numbers of protons and electrons.

Electric Charge

Sometimes atoms can gain or lose electrons. Loss of electrons leaves an atom with a net postitive charge and gain of electrons leaves an atom with a net negative charge. The presence of this electric charge, either positive or negative, produces an electric field. These type of charged atoms is called an ion. In a battery, the positive side has positive ions and negative side has negative ions.


Electron flows in Wire

Electrons being negative in nature, are attracted to positive charged. By making use of this nature, electrons can be made to move from one atom to another. When electrons move between the atoms, a current of electricity is created. In certain gases and liquids, atoms with extra protons can also flow and creates electric current too.