C1.1 Fundamental ideas

Atoms and elements are the building blocks of chemistry. Atoms contain protons, neutrons and electrons. When
elements react they produce compounds.

C1.1 AQA revision notes on ‘Fundamental ideas in chemistry’ from Pearson (click here for pdf)

Valence electrons and octet rule -   Key Chemistry Concept: Chemical reactions occur by atoms transferring or sharing electrons with each other. However, ONLY the electrons that occupy the outermost shell of atoms are involved in electron transfer or electron sharing between atoms.The electrons that orbit closer to the nucleus are, by definition, not in the outermost shell, and are therefore (usually) unaffected during chemical reactions. Valence number The
What are the relationships between atom, element, molecule, ion, compound and mixture? - What are the relationships between atom, element, molecule, ion, compound and mixture? Matter is made up of repeating units of atoms, molecules or ions. An element is a substance that contains only one type of atom as its repeating unit. A monatomic element has a single atom (e.g. copper, sodium or helium) repeating unit. Whereas, a polyatomic element, has a multiple atom
Copper: atomic number 29 C1.1 Atom ‘dot’ electron(s) and nucleus diagrams - Electrons occupy particular energy levels Each electron in an atom is at a particular energy level (in a particular shell). 1st shell (the ‘innermost’) shell can occupy a maximum of 2 electrons 2nd shell (‘outside the first shell’) can occupy a maximum of 8 electrons 3rd shell (‘outside the second shell’) can occupy a maximum of 8 electrons At GCSE level, because
C1.1 Chemical reactions and balancing equations - What makes a chemical reaction occur? Reactants ‘react’ together to make Products. A + B                        →      C + D (A and B are reactants)    (C and D are products) When different substances (elements or compounds) react together, reactant atoms ‘break’ their chemical bonds and make new
GCSE Periodic Table of the elements C1. 1 The Periodic Table - Periodic Table This is a table-like chart that shows all the elements with their corresponding symbols- there are just over 100 different elements! The horizontal rows in the periodic table are called periods and the vertical columns are called groups. The Periodic Table has 8 Groups: starting from the left is Group 1, then Group 2… Group 8 is also
C1.1 Atoms - The difference between atoms, elements, compounds, mixtures and ions always confuses students. Further information may be found here. Atom All substances are made of tiny particles called atoms. Atoms have a small central nucleus, which is made up of protons and neutrons and around which there are electrons. Element A substance that is made of only one sort of atom


Assessment and practical opportunities

■ modelling of atoms (using physical models or computer simulations) to illustrate chemical reactions at atomic level
■ precipitation reactions, such as lead nitrate with potassium iodide, to show conservation of mass.



Simulations by Footprints Science: electron arrangement, discovery of atomic structurebasic word equations, drag and drop atomic structure

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Electron arrangement

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Discovery of atomic structure

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Basic word equations

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drag and drop atomic struture


Simulations (by Footprints science): Periodic table electron configuration, Ionic Bonding

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Electron configuration

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Quizzes (by Footprints science): Atoms, Electrons, Elements/compounds/mixtures, Metals and non-metals, Group 1 quiz, states of matter quiz

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Atoms quiz

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Electrons quiz

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Elements Compounds Mixtures quiz

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Metals and nonmetals quiz

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Group 1 quiz

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States of matter quiz

Quizzes (by Footprints science): Atomic structure, Isotopes,  Understanding equations, Balancing equations 

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Atomic structure quiz

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Isotopes quiz

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Understanding equations

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Balancing equations