How can a chemist predict how an element can combine with other elements?
The forming of compound elements has been described by Dr. Frederick Senese of Frostburg State University, Maryland, as a game of tug of war ("What is Electronegativity?"). Atoms are made up of electrons, and those electrons have a negative electric charge. Electrons also spin, and as they spin, they create a magnetic field. That magnetic field can attract the positively charged nucleus of an atom and, hence, create a tug of war between electrons and nuclei. Whether or not a compound element will form as a result of this tug of war depends on the strength of the electric charge of the atom's nucleus. Chemists can predict which atom will win that tug of war and what compound will result by knowing the strength of the atom's nuclear charge.
While the nucleus of an atom has no charge itself, it is made up of neutrons and protons. Neutrons have no electric charge, while protons have a positive electric charge; therefore, due to the protons, the
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