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Atomic Structure

Subjects / Additional Science / Edexcel GCSE Additional Science

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Price: £2.95 Duration: 32mins Full topic price: £79.95

This title will start by considering the small pieces which all matter is made from. These are called 'particles'. We will identify everyday events that can only be explained by matter being made up of particles. Secondly, the title will move on to look at atoms and what they are made of. It considers protons, neutrons and electrons as the building blocks of atoms. The terms 'atomic number' and 'mass number' are then explained. We will use these concepts to understand what isotopes are. After this, we will introduce the term 'relative atomic mass', before going on to consider the arrangement of the electrons in shells around the nucleus and how this can affect the chemical properties of the elements. Finally, the title looks at the terms 'element', 'mixture' and 'compound' and what they mean to scientists.

Author: Mike Ryan Publisher: GCSEPod®
Narrator: Pauline Addis ISBN: 978-1-84906-182-7
Video ISBN: 978-1-84906-682-2


  1. Particles
  2. Protons, Neutrons and Electrons
  3. Atomic Number
  4. Mass Number
  5. Isotopes
  6. Relative Atomic Mass
  7. Outer Electrons
  8. Elements, Mixtures and Compounds

Exam Board Relevance

  • Edxcel
  • AQA
  • CEA
  • IGCSE (EdExcel)
  • OCR
  • SQA
  • WJEC
  • IGCSE (CiE)

Includes original GCSEPod image art. Additional pictorial images created by Damon Smith

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Curriculum and Exam Board Information

Key Issues



  • All atoms of a particular element have the same number of protons
  • Atomic number and mass number
  • Atomic number, mass number and relative atomic mass
  • Atomic structure in terms of protons, neutrons and electrons
  • Atoms are arranged in the modern periodic table in order of their atomic number (proton number)
  • Atoms have a small central nucleus around which there are electrons
  • Atoms of different elements have different numbers of protons
  • Atoms of the same element have different numbers of neutrons; these atoms are called isotopes of that element
  • Calculation of relative atomic mass
  • classify materials as elements, compounds or mixtures using information provided
  • define an element, compound and mixture
  • describe the structure of atoms and ions in terms of protons, electrons and neutrons limited to elements 1-20 in the Periodic Table
  • Each electron in an atom is at a particular energy level (in a particular shell)
  • Electronic structures of the first 20 elements in the Periodic Table
  • Electrons
  • Electrons occupy particular energy levels
  • Energy Levels
  • explain changes of state, including sublimation and energy changes associated with them, diffusion and dissolving, in terms of simple kinetic theory
  • explain the existence of isotopes and distinguish between isotopes, e.g. 35Cl and 37Cl
  • give examples which show that gases are compressible and how this characteristic is used in everyday life, e.g. fire extinguishers, aerosol sprays
  • Isotopes
  • Mass Number
  • Neutrons
  • Protons
  • Proton's electrical charge is +1 whilst neutron's are 0 and Electrons are -1
  • recall that all of the atoms that make up a chemical element have the same number of protons and electrons in their atoms
  • recall that atoms consist of a central nucleus, composed of protons and neutrons, surrounded by orbiting electrons
  • recognise that gases have weight and that they spread out to fill the space available, e.g. diffusion of bromine
  • recognise that the volume of a gas depends upon pressure and temperature. (Qualitative treatment only)
  • Relative masses and charges of a proton, neutron and electron
  • Simple ideas of the structure of an atom
  • State Symbols in Equations
  • state that all matter is made up of small particles called atoms
  • state the relative charge and relative mass of a proton, an electron and a neutron
  • Substances that consist of simple molecules are gases, liquids or solids that have relatively low melting points and boiling points
  • Substances that consist of simple molecules do not conduct electricity because the molecules do not have an overall electric charge
  • The Atomic Number
  • The electrons in an atom occupy the lowest available energy levels (innermost available shells)
  • The number of protons in an atom is called its atomic number (proton number)
  • The relative mass of an element compares the mass of atoms of the element with the 12C isotope. It is an average value for the isotopes of the element
  • The state symbols in equations are (s), (l), (g) and (aq)
  • The Structure of Atoms
  • The total number of protons and neutrons in an atom is called the mass number
  • understand the term relative atomic mass and use this to determine relative formula masses (relative molecular masses)
  • understand the terms atomic number and mass number
  • understand the terms: elements, compounds, atoms, ions and molecules and their interrelation
  • use the relationship between the volume of a gas and its pressure and temperature to solve simple problems, i.e. PV/T = constant
  • Within an atom the number of protons is equal to the number of electrons


This podcast was very helpful in my revision. It contains many key facts.

James H, Student

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