What is a good circular loop of metal for a science project atom?

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My daughter needs to build an atom with electrons flying about, and I was just wondering what's a good wire for the electrons?
We're going to paint chestnuts from a tree, as the protons and neutrons and then put acorns as the electrons.
But what's a good wire that will be ROUND?
I have plenty of baling wire, and coat hanger, but, getting it round is the problem.
Any simple ideas?
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On Mon, 10 Nov 2014 06:06:01 +0000 (UTC), Tom Wilson

You are in luck, the christmas stuff is out.
Get some wire wreath frames. They are about 10 gauge steel wire, rolled into a perfect circle. Usually there is an inner and outer ring connected by short legs.. Just cut them free with a dremel or a good wire cutter.
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Tom,
Most electrons do not "circle" the nucleus. They have complex orbits. You've also got a "size" issue. If a proton is a chestnut then the electron would be much smaller than an acorn. And the orbits are huge. Atoms are mostly empty space. What you plan is a fun project but it's important that your daughter knows that real atoms don't look like that. Not at all.
Dave M.
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On 11/10/2014 07:02 AM, David L. Martel wrote:

But for a kid's project it's fine.
If one wanted to truly represent an atom one would have to be fully versed in wave/ matter duality .
Sub-atomic particles do not exist per-se, as they are manifestations of wave troughs.
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philo wrote:

Hi, Yes, all about Photon....
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David L. Martel wrote, on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:02:16 -0500:

Yeah. I took chemistry. 1s2, 2p6, 3s2, etc.
IIRC, they're shaped like figure-8 dumbbells (at the lower orbitals anyway).
If I can find figure-8-shaped wire, that would be neat, but, as someone said, for a kid's school project, that's a stretch.
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philo wrote, on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 09:41:34 -0600:

The distance and size, as someone mentioned, would be too big for a kid's school project, as the orbitals would be about as large as the entire school. :)
So, we'll do with just the protons and neutrons, plus the electrons (not to scale) orbiting the whole thing.
I'm not sure how to make the whole thing stand up yet, though as that requires some kind of totem pole in the center.
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wrote:

someone said Christmas wreath, good idea. Also check 'craft' store outlets. They have a lot of soft bending 'wire'. For shaping, I'd use a mandrel, like the bottom of a Quaker oats box, mayonaise jar, of coffee container 'roundness' Select diameter smaller than you want so you can relax the bend back to what you originally wanted. I've used plywood sheet cut to a round, then lay in the solid wire from a wire coat hangar. But is a bit tough. I also have some stainless steel wire that would be excellent already rounded by fact on a spool, but must cut with nail nippers, ...ruined a nice pair of wire cutters by putting a dent in the jaws.
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gfretwell wrote, on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:30:27 -0500:

I'll look around for some, as the strong wire circle is what I was aiming for (coathanger won't ever get circular).
I did look up orbital shapes, based on another response, but that bow-tie shape is much harder to replicate in wire.
http://sciencebock.wikispaces.com/file/view/orbitals.jpg/392793554/425x273/orbitals.jpg
I wonder if there is a common household wire shaped like this?
https://alexlemayscience.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/electron-orbitals-mg.jpg
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Tom Wilson;3306469 Wrote: >

I agree with G. Fretwell on using wreath wiring. But, I would look in your Yellow Pages phone directory under Florists Supplies to find out where you can buy a selection of different size wire rings.
I would buy various size wire rings and use fishing line to fasten the wire rings to a single vertical wire that could be hung from a hook.
PS: Generally, if you look back in history, the reason we never understood things was because we weren't aware of some part of the puzzle. For example, back in the 1800's when cholera was causing people to die in London, England, people thought that the cholera was caused by bad smells. That's because, at the time, people weren't aware of bacteria and that ingesting harmful bacteria could cause disease. It's hard to imagine how something so small could bring down a healthy animal the size of an adult man. A similar thing involves the 5 perfect solids model of the solar system. At one point it was imagined that the planets that were known at the time revolved around the Sun on orbits that were based on the 5 perfect solids that were known to exist. Scientists like Kepler spent their entire lives trying to arrange those solids so that they would match the known orbits of the planets, and he failed despite his efforts. It wasn't until the discovery of gravity and the resulting eliptical orbits that gravity predicted that we understood how simple nature actually was.
It's probably the same thing now with atoms and electrons. It's been proven over and over and over again that Nature is simple. As soon as we have all the pieces of the puzzle, Nature always proves itself to be much simpler than we thought. When we look at electron orbitals, nothing could be more complex or hard to understand, and that is undoubtedly because we don't have all the pieces of the puzzle to work with yet. Once we do, then electron orbitals and the dual wave/particle nature of subatomic particles will prove to be much more simple than we now think.
--
nestork


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On Mon, 10 Nov 2014 15:59:41 +0000 (UTC), Tom Wilson

So? Think big!

The orbits are not exactly round. I believe they are the shape of wire hangers.
Somewhere in the trash I saw just what you need. I may have even brought it home, though I don't know where it is. If I find it before your daughter's project is due, I'll email it. Do you have a liquid/solid modem?
If not, I can fax it to a stationery store near you.

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On Monday, November 10, 2014 11:59:38 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:

I did a scale of our solar system in school. It pretty much took up the entire place. I aced it.
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Something like this may be handy:
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p2012&cat=1,43456,43407
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On Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:22:24 +0000 (UTC), Tom Wilson

You can always start with circles and push them a little out of round for that shape. I doubt many grade school teachers actually know that much about atomic theory so it might be counter productive. ;-)
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On Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:22:24 +0000 (UTC), Tom Wilson

One of the other posters did point out an interesting idea. If you buy wire at the hardware store it is usually rolled into a nice coil that you could exploit..
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Instead of making an "atom", what might be a better science project is to document how the conceptualization of atoms have changed over history.
As far back as the Roman Empire, people speculated that gold must be made of extremely tiny particles because they noticed that the wedding bands on their ring fingers grew thin with time, but yet never saw pieces of gold falling from those wedding rings. They suspected that the gold must be made of particles that were far too small to see that fell off those gold rings.
However, there was no serious investigation into the nature of atoms until the 1800's.
'Atom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom)
--
nestork


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micky wrote, on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:59:28 -0500:

She is going to do Silicon, which has 14 electrons. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blsolar4.htm
We have the 14 chestnuts and the 14 acorns.
We're going to take a walk tomorrow, when she is off school, to find the other 14 nuts.
Then, somehow, we need to make the orbits look like shells: hhttp://www.chem4kids.com/files/elements/014_shells.html
Or, better yet, into five orbits: 1s2, 2s2, 2p6, 3s2, 3p2 http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~wbreslyn/chemistry/electron-configurations/configurationSilicon.html
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Tom Wilson wrote:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_88405-82704-89723_0__?productId430110
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83LowRider wrote, on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:19:46 -0500:

It's strong. It's round. And, it's different sizes (for the 5 different energy levels)!
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Tom Wilson:
You should tell your daughter that both carbon and silicon have 4 "valence" electrons, which are the electrons in their outermost shells. It was this fact that led chemists to try to make the same plastics (which they had been making with hydrocarbon based petroleums) out of silicon instead.
The very first silicon based plastics that were made in the very early 1900's were believed to have a structure like this:
| Si=O | Si=O | Si=O |
and anything that has the general structu
A | C=O | B
Where A and B can be anything, C is a carbon atom and O is an oxygen atom is called a "Ketone". For example, the chemical name for acetone is dimethyl ketone because both A and B are methyl groups in acetone. If you've ever heard of methyl ethyl ketone, you now know why it's acetone's closest living relative.
So, to name this new plastic, chemists took the name "Silicon" and combined it with the word "Ketone" and came up with "Silicoketone" which quickly got shortened to "Silicone". That's why it's Silicon Valley, but it's silicone caulk.
However, further study showed that the actual structure of silicone based plastics is this:
| Si | O | Si | O | Si |
Where there are two side groups bonded to each silicon atom (which are hard to show on a text based venue like this). Every silicone plastic has the basic structure shown above, but it's the type of side groups bonded to the silicon atoms that determine the properties of the plastic.
So, to recognize the fact that there's no hint of a ketone structure anywhere in silicon based plastics, the official name of silicon based plastics have been changed to "siloxanes". But, the silicone name still sticks, and everyone still uses "silicone" to refer to a silicon based plastic. It's a mistake that's taken root in our language.
'Silicone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicone)
--
nestork


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