Chemistry: 4.2 Subatomic Particles

Get ready, Shmoopers, today we're going to take things subatomic. But not in the dangerous way that Ant Man did. We're not as brave as he is.

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ScienceChemistry

Transcript

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microscopic size and injected into a [People shrink, and an injection is given to a girl]

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human body. Anyway, Dr. Isaacson has always

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dreamed of taking a similar journey--not

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into a human being, but into various

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elements--and now thanks to his new

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invention, the Shrinky-Dinker 2000, he [Strange looking gun appears]

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can. With the help of his trusty lab

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assistants, Larry and Curly (yeah, [Larry and Curly bump heads]

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their names are totally just a

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coincidence), the good doctor is about to

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take the adventure of a lifetime. To get [Dr Isaacson rubbing his hands together]

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things started, Dr. Isaacson is

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miniaturized and his subatomic

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submarine is sent sailing into a tank of

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hydrogen. As the doctor navigates his [The little submarine is put into a tank]

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ship about the tank, he observes the

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hydrogen atoms in action and makes some

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notes, although it would be tough for any [Making notes in the cockpit of the submarine]

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normal-sized human being to read them...

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Well, hope the re-enlargement phase goes [Person trying to read the notes through a microscope]

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okay. Well, the first thing Dr. Isaacson

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observes is the nucleus of a hydrogen

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atom, which contains just a single proton, [The submarine going around the proton]

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making hydrogen the lightest of all the

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elements. If you're ever going to give an

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element a piggyback ride, well you want [Girl with a hydrogen atom on her back]

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to ride this one. The doctor then takes a

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gander at the atom's neutron, the only

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subatomic particle present with no [The submarine going around the neutron]

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electrical charge. Yep, it's neutral, which

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is where the word neutron comes from. Yeah,

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it's the Switzerland of subatomic particles. [Switzerland with its hands up]

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Well now, outside the nucleus, Dr.

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Isaacson notices an electron go whizzing

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by the outside of his submarine. He knows

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that these are the negatively charged

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pieces of an atom, and the reason they [The submarine next to an electron]

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aren't flying off into other regions of

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the tank is because the negative charge

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keeps them attracted to the positive [The negative charge attracting the electron]

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charge of the proton, so they stick

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around. An electron is like a

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star-crossed lover who can never be with

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the object of his unrequited love but

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hangs out so he can keep an eye on her

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all the time. Okay, that's not a star- [Electron wearing love heart glasses following the proton]

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crossed lover, that's a stalker, but still... [Police officer gets out a restraining order]

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Once Dr. Isaacson has had his fill of

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hydrogen, Larry and Curly remove him from

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the tank and let him play with a few [The submarine is swapped tanks]

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other elements. There's helium,

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with an atomic number of two, meaning it

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has two protons--twice as many as [The two protons are demonstrated]

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hydrogen; copper, with 29 protons; and

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uranium, with a whopping ninety-two

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protons. Of course, no matter how many

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protons an element has, Dr. Isaacson has [Drawing a love heart on the periodic table]

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no favorites; they're all his babies. After

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a long, exhausting day of voyaging

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through the elements, the doctor is

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finally ready to be retrieved and

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returned to his normal incredible height

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of 5 feet 2 inches. If only Larry and [The doctor asking to be taken out]

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Curly hadn't bumped heads while rushing

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about the lab in a frenzy... Well, they should

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come to in an hour so. They can't see you,

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doctor. Yeah, wave your arms all you want. [The doctor waving his arms in the submarine]