How would you construct a model to show the atomic structure for an oxygen atom?

2 Answers
Jul 10, 2017


Well, you have an oxygen ATOM, #Z=8#.......


So what does #Z# represent? It is the atomic number, the number of massive, positively charged particles that comprise the oxygen nucleus.......these particles, these nuclear protons are packed into a dense nuclear core.......The most common isotope of oxygen also packs 8 neutrons, 8 massive neutrally charged particles into the core, i.e. the isotope #""^16O#. Interactions between protons, and neutrons, AT EXCEPTIONALLY short nuclear ranges, are strong enough to overcome the electrostatic repulsion between electrically charged particles of the same charge.

Now the oxygen atom is neutral. Around the nuclear core, 8 electrons, 8 fundamental negatively charged particles of negligible mass are conceived to whizz about. To a first approx. modern views of electronic structure hold that the electrons are confined to various energy levels. Two electrons can fit into the first level, BUT up to 8 electrons can fit in the next available level(s). Since oxygen has got 6 electrons remaining, these electrons occupy the valence (outermost)shell of the of the oxygen atom, and the radius these electrons describe, define the atomic radius of ATOMIC oxygen.

Electronic interactions between different atoms can form chemical bonds.....for oxygen the most stable electronic arrangement occurs when a pair of such atoms make music to form a dioxygen molecule, #O_2#..........

Jul 10, 2017

There are several ideas here and the associated alternate links: