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To: DustyMoment
Removing the electrons does not affect the *nucleus*.

Think of your atom from your basic corporate logo or whereever:

The electrons are those grey things orbiting around; the red and blue balls in the center are the neutrons and protons.

Electrons have a -1 charge; each proton a +1 charge; and the neutrons are neutral (hence the name).

In any element -- that is, when left to itself, you haven't reacted it or ionized it or anything -- the atom has a 0 charge, since the number of protons and electrons is identical.

Isotopes (like the deuterium in heavy water, or like Carbon-14) differ from the ordinary element because they weigh more: but the extra weight comes from extra neutrons in the nucleus, so they are still neutral.

The trick is, when you pull away so many electrons from iron or titanium, the charge of the nucleus is still the same: so you have a whole bunch of positive charge in the middle, pulling in on just a couple of electrons: since opposites attract, the electrons move in closer to the nucleus, so the atom is "smaller" -- kind of like as the Solar System would be smaller if you got rid of every planet past Mars. (Conceptually, not mathematically, that is, since the planets are attracted by gravity, not charges...)

Full Disclosure: I have a PhD in molecular physics.

Cheers!

24 posted on 12/03/2012 6:59:00 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Thank you. While I grasp the concept of the nucleus remaining the same without all of those electrons that have been pulled out (I squeaked through high school chemistry, but a few lessons stuck! LOL!), what ultimately changes in the atomic structure as the result of those missing electrons? Is it less able to bond with other atoms in a molecular structure, or did I sleep through that part of ny high school chemistry class?


32 posted on 12/03/2012 10:06:55 PM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for white collar criminals!!)
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