The nucleus of an atom is where all the protons and neutrons are located. These particles have a strong positive charge, which means they repel each other. The electrons that surround the nucleus are negatively charged, which means they attract the positively charged protons in the nucleus. This attraction between electrons and protons is called the Coulomb force, and it keeps atoms together.
When atoms bond with each other (a process called chemical bonding), they share electrons with each other so that each atom has fewer free electrons than before, making them more stable — less likely to react with other atoms.
Chemical reactions involve rearranging atoms from one compound into another compound through a series of steps known as an oxidation-reduction reaction (redox reaction). During these reactions, atoms gain or lose electrons or positrons (positively-charged particles) to become stable again.
Last modified: October 8, 2022