What is an atom composed of?
An atom is the smallest particle of any element that still retains the characteristics of that element. However, atoms consist of even smaller particles. Atoms consist of a central, dense nucleus that is surrounded by one or more lightweight negatively charged particles called electrons. The nucleus is made up of positively charged particles called protons and neutrons which are neutral. An atom is held together by forces of attraction between the electrons and the protons. The neutrons help to hold the protons together. Protons and neutrons are believed to be made up of even smaller particles called quarks.

We will limit our discussions to protons, neutrons and electrons.

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