The atom

We now know that the atom is composed of a small (positive) nucleus with electrons (negative) orbiting around it. The nucleus contains protons and neutrons all tightly packed together. The electrons possess energy. The more energy an electron has the further away from the nucleus its orbit will take it.




Now what keeps the atom together? Why do the electrons not fly away from the nucleus since they are travelling so fast?

Opposite charges attract each other through a force called elecrostatic attraction. Like charges on the other hand repel each other.

A force known as electrostatic attraction keeps the electrons and protons attracted to each other. Since protons are positive and electrons are negative they will attract each other.

Now for the nucleus. All the protons packed in tightly together undergo electrostatic repulsion. Like charges repel each other but the nucleus is very stable. Why?

A special force called the nuclear force keeps the protons and neutrons packed in tightly in the nucleus. This force is over 100 times more powerful than the force repelling the protons apart.
Click for more information on the nucleus.