Latest comment: 1 year ago by David spector in topic Lead

The number of elements has been changed from 92 to 94, can someone explain? I thought Uranium (92) was the last naturally occuring element. Where did the other 2 come from? -- Tango 16:54, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Neptunium and Plutonium were found to occur in trace amounts due to Uranium decomposition.
Darrien 05:51, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Fair enough. That should probably be mentioned in the article, as 92 is more commonly known, AFAIK. -- Tango 11:48, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The atom is not the simplest particle that makes up matter. Atoms are the result of an accumulation process that accumulates mass particles plus electrostatically charged particles.

"It is the most simple type of particle that makes up matter."


An atom is not the most simple type of matter, but I can't come up with a better way to phrase that part of the article. Any help?

Well, the definition of an atom includes several concepts. I figure that here in Simple we shouldn't have to squeeze them into the one sentence. Here is the definition part of the article as it was at 12:12, 20 November 2009 (UTC):
An atom is the most simple type of particle that makes up matter. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. It is the smallest part of an element that still has the properties of that specific element. ...
The first AND third sentences make up the definition, right? The second I think is just getting in the way. Here is my rearrangement, spread over 2 sentences, with 2 more for extra information:
An atom is a particle that makes up matter. It is the largest part of an element that still has the chemical properties of that specific element. The atom cannot be broken down using physical means or chemical reactions, so it was once thought to be the smallest and simplest particle of matter. Each type of atom has its own name, mass and size. ...
Willing to make it clearer/more exact if necessary. The angel jean (talk) 12:49, 20 November 2009 (UTC)Reply
An atom is defined as the smallest particle of any element that has all the characteristics (chemical and physical properties) of that element.

Hello fellow editors from times long gone, for the first sentence I went with "Atoms are very small pieces of matter." I agree with the sentiment that "we shouldn't have to squeeze the definition into one sentence". Furthermore the sentence "It is the largest part of an element that still has the chemical properties of that specific element." or any variation that uses chemical element to define atoms I find a bit confused, since the concepts are so close to each other, it leads to a circular definition. The source of the circular definition is probably the same as the one in English Wikipedia: "Smallest particle still characterizing a chemical element" from We see the circularity when the same source defines chemical element as: "a species of atoms; all atoms with the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus.", a second entry in chemical element reads "A pure chemical substance composed of atoms with the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus ." which explains the confusion in the previous definition, we are now using chemical element to refer to a species of atoms, not a substance composed entirely of atoms. I find the current form "There are many different types of atoms, each with its own name, mass and size. These different types of atoms are called chemical elements" much more enlightening and still consistent with the IUPAC definitions while opting for clarity instead of exactitude.

Thank you. Tomás Zubiri, Buenos Aires, Argentina - July 2020



"Atoms ... have diameters of about 10-8."

10-8 (the "-8" is an exponent, of course) what? Centimeters? you say that but how do you know that? Where did you learn this?

= 10-8 means 10E-8 centimeters (cm) from the cgs system of science notation.WFPMWFPM (talk) 21:56, 20 October 2008 (UTC)Reply
== Atoms =are accumulations of individual particles called "nucleons" into a "nucleus", which contains the nucleons, which is then contained within a large surrounding volume of space. Nuclear physics is about activity related to the nucleus. Chemical activity is about activity between atoms.WFPMWFPM (talk) 21:56, 20 October 2008 (UTC)Reply
= The Atom is a The result of an accumulation process of the "proton" and "neutron" particles of matter the are found to exist in space and in the stars. This process results in the emission of "light energy" and other rediation which are observed and studied by "astronomers". Most Atoms are small and have atomic mass values from a minimum of 1 to around 16, but large atoms up to mass values of up to 238 have been discovered on earth. WFPMWFPM (talk) 00:30, 21 October 2008 (UTC)Reply
== In addition to matter, the atom is known to have "electrostatic" and electromagnetic" properties that cause it to create and interact with forces of attraction and repulsion that far exceed the force of "gravitational attraction" that caused them to congregate in the first place. These forces are theorized to occur due to the existence of a third particle of the atom, named "the electron" which has a "negative" charge, and which is balanced in each individual "neutral" atom by an equal "positive" charge occurring in each of the "protons contained within the "nucleus" of the atom. These "electrons" are not tightly bound to the nucleus of the atom and can be separated: in which the atom retains a "positive" charge as a separate particle or becomes an "atomic ion" in a liquid solution. WFPMWFPM (talk) 00:56, 21 October 2008 (UTC)Reply
== In a further attempt to organize information about atoms, their "chemical properties have been investigated and organized into different categories of "elements", with each element being atoms that have the same number of positive protons and negative electron and therefor similar chemical properties. Further study of these chemical properties led to the discovery of the "periodic" occurrence of similarities of certain chemical (and physical) properties and lead to the creation of tables of the elements related to these properties, and rather disregarding the fact that they didn't have anything to do with the nucleic accumulation atom creation process in the first place. Thus the "periodic table" was created as a way to organize chemical information "By Mendelev and others" and then "elaborated" to include elemental chemical and physical properties, and neglecting the details of the atom creation process, which is an important subject matter of "Nuclear Physics".WFPMWFPM (talk) 01:24, 21 October 2008 (UTC)Reply

We need to explain more in this or at least

Some PGA comments

  • Hydrogen, for example, has one proton, no neutrons and no electrons - Wrong. It has one electron and is then called Protium (at least in Germany, dunno of there is an other English name.
Thats just a mistake, I did know that :) Its supposed to say one electron. FSM Noodly?
  • the element Sulfur has 16 protons, 16 neutrons and 16 electrons. - If you chose this example, you should say that number of neutrons can change (here between 14 and 24)
For it to be Sulfur it has to have 16 neutrons, otherwise its an isotope of Sulfur. The plain element defined as Sulfur has 16 neutrons. Or at least thats what I thought, maybe I'm wrong... FSM Noodly? 20:31, 2 January 2010 (UTC)Reply

In the "Structure and Parts" section": The Nuclear shell model is missing. It belongs to the atom.

This is just after an overview. I'll have a deeper look in it tomorrow. --Barras talk 22:12, 18 December 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • A periodic table would be fine in the article.
  • Bohr model should be explained (nuclear shell model).
  • high energy physics - atomic bomb, atomic power
  • the different enegergy levels of atoms

This is what is missing here atm (or not enough explained). I didn't read it now to say that the rest is ok. Just after an overview. Please fix first those issues. After this I'll read it completely. Regards --Barras talk 17:01, 19 December 2009 (UTC)Reply

These definitions exclude isotopes


Saying "Hydrogen, for example, has one proton, no neutrons and one electron" is misleading as it excludes from the beginning the existence of isotopes. I would say "Hydrogen, for example, has one proton, one electron, and between 0 and 2 neutrons, depending on the isotope"... There are other instances of this article where this is not clear and misleading Thank you. Stefano Gatto, Geneva, Switzerland

Thanks for the critique, I changed that paragraph to focus on protons, since the identity of an element depends on their chemical properties, and these do not change a lot if the amount of electrons changes, but they do if the amount of protons changes. I also improved wording to hopefully clarify the differences between the three subatomic particles.

Finally, I further refined the initial definition continuing the work of Jim.henderson, I went for piece instead of unit, to avoid confusing with the unit of measurement. I removed the definition regarding chemical properties, I believe it's kind of tautological, since the definition of chemical property is built around the concept of atoms.

Finally I have added a source in Spanish from my university, all changes strictly follow the source, it's not in the ideal language, so if someone can find an equivalent source in english to replace or complement it with, that would be appreciated. Thank you. Tomás Zubiri, Buenos Aires, Argentina - July 2020



atom is a smallest particle of anything that serve as originator of all chemical reaction perform by that substance. atom has composed proton, neutron and electron.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Alhajiro (talkcontribs) 05:27, 21 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Review, 6/19/22


I've reviewed this article for accuracy and simplicity, and would make the following suggestions for editing changes. I've omitted reasons, and, in two cases, references, to make this task easier and fit into my available time. I haven't aimed for perfection, just improvement. -- David Spector

I would add these sentences at the beginning of the lead section:

"Atoms are the smallest possible pieces of the world around us, that we can see, touch, taste, or smell. Atoms combine in several ways, making the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Atoms combine to make rocks, trees, birds, and people."

"This makes atoms impossible to see without special tools" -> "This makes one atom impossible to see without special tools"


"Other example of chemical reaction are the break of a molecule into atoms" -> "Other examples of chemical reaction are the breaking of a molecule into its separate atoms"

"The number of protons of an atom is sometimes called"-> "The number of protons of an atom is called"


"the atoms of the compound's elements always combine the same way"-> "the atoms of the compound's elements always combine in the same way"


"This was called brownian motion"-> "This was called Brownian motion"


"In 1905 Albert Einstein used mathematics to prove that the seemingly random movements were caused by the reactions of atoms"-> "In 1905 Albert Einstein used mathematics to prove that the pollen particles were being moved by the motion, or heat, of individual water molecules"


"(how many protons they have. This is usually the same as the number of electrons)"-> "(how many protons they have; this is usually the same as the number of electrons)"


"which stated that an atom was like plum pudding: the dried fruit (electrons) were stuck in a mass of pudding (nucleus)"-> "which stated that an atom was like plum pudding: the dried fruit (electrons) were stuck in a mass of pudding (having positive charge)"


"This discovery eventually led to the creation of the atomic bomb."-> "This discovery eventually led to the creation of the atomic bomb and nuclear power, where fission occurs repeatedly, creating a chain reaction."


"The complex atom is made up of"-> "An atom is made up of"


"femtometre"-> "femtometer"

I don't think this is necessary. Metre is the original spelling; meter is the American spelling. The enwiki article is titled Femtometre. Lights and freedom (talk) 01:31, 22 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

"Nuclear fission is when the nucleus breaks into two smaller nuclei, releasing a lot of stored energy."-> "Nuclear fission is when the nucleus breaks into two smaller nuclei, releasing a lot of energy."


"useful for making bombs and electricity, in the form of nuclear power."-> "useful for making bombs, and electricity in the form of nuclear power."


"Such high energies are most common in stars like our Sun, which fuses hydrogen for fuel."-> "Such high energies are most common in stars like our Sun, which fuses hydrogen for fuel. However, once fusion happens, far more energy is released, because of the conversion of some of the mass into energy."


"The further away the electron is from the nucleus, the weaker the pull of the nucleus on it. This is why bigger atoms, with more electrons, react more easily with other atoms. The electromagnetism of the nucleus is not strong enough to hold onto their electrons and atoms lose electrons to the strong attraction of smaller atoms.[21]"-> "The electron shell that is farthest away from the nucleus determines how atoms combine or bond together to form molecules. The number of electrons in the outermost shell determines whether the atom is stable or which atoms it will bond with in a chemical reaction."


"For each kind of atom, the possible energy levels are exactly the same."-> "For each kind of atom, the possible energy level is restricted to one of a fixed set of possible energies. This is due to quantum mechanics, the physics of very tiny particles."


"these appear as specific colors of light"-> "these appear as specific colors of light, because color is caused by photon energy level"


"because electrons can easily flow through them"-> "because electric charge can easily flow through them"

"The magnetic moment comes from the electron's orbit around the nucleus."-> "The magnetic moment mostly comes from the electron's individual spin, not its orbit around the nucleus."

I changed it to "The magnetic moment comes from the electron's individual spin and its orbit around the nucleus." I didn't think it was necessary to say which component was greater. Lights and freedom (talk) 01:30, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

"This means the nucleus is either too big to hold itself together[29] or has too many protons or neutrons"-> "This means the nucleus is either too big to hold itself together[29]"

Is this not correct? Atoms that are too large are radioactive, but small atoms with a big difference in the number of neutrons and protons are also radioactive. It seems like this change would be removing important information. Lights and freedom (talk) 01:31, 22 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

"Unstable atoms continue to be radioactive until they lose enough mass/particles that they become stable."-> "Unstable atoms emit radiation until they lose enough particles in the nucleus to become stable."


"There is no change in the mass, or atomic number or the atom, only in the stored energy inside the nucleus."-> "There is no change in the mass, or atomic number or the atom, only in the stored energy inside the nucleus, in the form of particle spin."


"When people use nuclear fission, they start by shooting a neutron at an atom"-> "Devices that use nuclear fission start by shooting neutrons at atoms"


"Scientists are trying to make a fusion reactor for a nuclear power station"-> "Scientists are trying to make fusion reactors for nuclear power stations"


"Strangely, the mass of a nucleus is less than"-> "Because of binding energy, the mass of a nucleus is less than"

Because the term 'binding energy' has not been defined, this would be confusing. Does this need to be stated? It is explained later in the paragraph without using the term. Lights and freedom (talk) 01:31, 22 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

"A proton or neutron loses some of its mass when it joins a nucleus. This mass becomes energy, which can be in the form of heat, light, or sound."-> "A proton or neutron loses some of its mass when it joins a nucleus. This mass becomes energy, which as the strong force holds the nucleus together."


"The mass per nucleon of a nucleus is its mass, divided by" I would eliminate the paragraph starting with this, for simplicity.

This paragraph explains how nuclear fission produces energy. Can you think of a simpler way to explain it? Lights and freedom (talk) 01:31, 22 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

David spector (talk) 19:48, 19 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

Complex tag


@PotsdamLamb: you added a complex tag. What parts do you think are complex? Lights and freedom (talk) 20:57, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

@Lights and freedom a lot of it especially based off of the above conversation where a lot of the suggestions are great simplifications. PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 21:01, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
Okay, I'll get around to those pretty soon. Lights and freedom (talk) 21:05, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
No worries! :) PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 21:07, 20 June 2022 (UTC)Reply



There are some questions about what the lead should say. Originally the first paragraph described chemical elements as "types of atoms" and gave examples. This was changed by Ensahequ [1] because (s)he read this to mean "atoms have names". (Discussion at talk page) This would be a problem if the article did say this, but I didn't read it that way and Ensahequ is also not a native English speaker. Although I generally preferred the older version, there was a potential problem: it said that each "type of atom" had its own mass, but then it defined the types of atoms as elements. However, isotopes have different masses, but are the same element.

I'm specifically talking about mentions of chemical elements and atoms, not the other changes to the lead. David spector, I will get to all your other suggestions soon, but what do you think about this? Lights and freedom (talk) 19:27, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

@Lights and freedom I would post a link to this discussion on the simple talk board to get more input (need input, need input, more input) (you know that movie?). What we can accomplish with more minds would help, especially for any chemists who may know a way to bring this down to an 8th graders readers level. PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 19:56, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
@PotsdamLamb I could nominate it at WP:PGA and then more people would respond, but I don't think it's ready yet. In any case there aren't many chemistry/physics people here. What do you think? Lights and freedom (talk) 20:02, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Lights and freedom Yeah do not go to PGA yet. Yeah I am sure there are some. I know we have Mac who has a specialty in something about birds or animals in generals. We have a large variety of people of people on here. I would phrase it as "Hello community! We are working to get the article [[Atom]] up to a good article status. We are looking for editors to help us on the the talk page for various discussions we are having. Please join us at [[Talk:Atom]]." I can also ensure the end pieces are in the right places and find out all the information for authority control and such. PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 20:08, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Lights and freedom Ok so I went through and made a lot of grammar and spell checks. One thing to be careful of is mixing the English variety in the article. I found colour and color. Since nothing else was written in British English, I switched everything to American English. I am going to run a quick script through to fix the formatting of sources and date and time. to get this up to GA, we need to make sure all the dead links can be 1) be found elsewhere or 2) find them in an archive like the way back machine. Same with any error listed at the bottom. I added all the commons links and the ac and arranged them in the proper order. PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 20:41, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
I have some background in physics and chemistry, but I'm not exactly sure what the issue is. Also, I just discovered this posting because I'm not receiving email notifications of replies to me. David spector (talk) 14:00, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply
@David spector Thank you again for all your comments. The lead has changed a lot since I posted this three months ago. If you would like you can comment whether the lead should be changed, but's some of the issues have been resolved so it's not that necessary. Lights and freedom (talk) 18:02, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply
Thank you. I have made some changes to the lead to mention molecules and chemical properties, as well as the fact that atoms can exist outside of Earth. David spector (talk) 18:49, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply
@David spector Great! I am not sure about the second sentence, however, because most of the mass in the universe is believed to be dark matter, which is not thought to be made of atoms. Lights and freedom (talk) 23:07, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply
Yes, but that belief is actually a speculation, with much evidence supporting and opposed to it. I believe we should draw the line somewhere concerning complex concepts and content when writing in simple English. David spector (talk) 18:53, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply
@David spector We can leave this out of the article. But it may be inaccurate to say "almost all matter in the universe is made of atoms". Instead, is it okay to say "all normal matter is made of atoms"? Lights and freedom (talk) 20:59, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I think that is a good, simple statement of fact. It actually depends on the definition of matter. Matter can be defined as substances, molecules, atoms, or anything that has mass (which would include, for example, electrons, which are extremely tiny as compared to atoms). These are all a bit different from each other, but the differences are not so simple. David spector (talk) 22:01, 12 October 2022 (UTC)Reply

Readability Test


So the results I got are: READABILITY TEST RESULTS: Your page ( has an average reading ease of about 64.1 of 100. It should be easily understood by 12 to 13 year olds. So this is right on track. Source: PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 20:44, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

@PotsdamLamb Thanks for doing this, and thanks for your date formatting and grammar changes. There were a lot of them I agreed with, and some which I disagreed with or had questions about, so I will list them here.
  • "make" is in BE 850, "create" is not.
  • You changed "its atomic mass" to "it's atomic mass". This is a common mistake; "its" is the possessive for "it", and "it's" always means "it is".
  • "exact" is on the BE1500, but "precise" is not.
  • You changed "where an electron is likely to be" to "where an electron is likely". I'm not particularly educated about grammar, but the second one just sounds wrong to me.
  • I think "A positive hydrogen ion has" is better than "Positive hydrogen ion has" because we're talking about just one ion.
  • You changed "The number of neutrons in relation to protons" to "The number of neutrons to protons" but I think the first is clearer.
  • "extreme amounts of energy" was changed to "extreme energy". I am not sure if this change makes it harder or easier to understand. It makes the sentence shorter, but the question is "will readers understand the meaning without the removed words?" "extreme" isn't actually on the BE1500 list.
  • You changed "have" to "has" in "In most atoms, the first shell has two electrons, and all after that have eight." "have" is better, because it's plural: it is talking about all shells after the first one.
  • "which atoms it will bond with within a chemical reaction" is just confusing. I'm pretty sure "with in" is better than "with within".
  • You changed "send out a photon" to "send a photon". I think the first is better, because otherwise readers will wonder "to whom is it sending a photon?"
  • on Simple Talk, I started a discussion for "giving" vs "which gives", because sentence structure is an important part of being simple and some people may be able to answer that.
  • "to that side" is needed in the phrase "negative charge to that side".
  • "When two atoms line up their sides with negative and positive charge, they will attract" was changed to "They will attract when two atoms line up their sides with negative and positive charges". This is confusing, because it's the atoms that attract, not the electrons.
  • I think "empty space" is better than "space" because it's more descriptive. People might think "space" means "where astronauts go".
  • "This mass becomes energy, which as the strong force holds the nucleus together" was changed to "This mass becomes energy, the strong force that holds the nucleus together". This is technical wording, suggested by Ensahequ, and probably only the first makes sense.
  • "Atoms that are used in nuclear fission": also listed on Simple Talk.
  • I think "makeup" is cosmetics but "make up" should otherwise be two words.
  • In my opinion, "They can make a Fermionic condensate if this number is odd." just flows better if "If this number is odd" is at the beginning of the sentence, because it creates a better parallelism with the end of the previous sentence.
  • You changed some short phrasal verbs to longer single words. I don't really have an opinion about this, but it might be a topic for future discussion.
    • "find out" -> "determine"
    • "getting rid of" -> "removing"
    • "get rid of" -> "eliminate"
I know that was a lot of comments. Lights and freedom (talk) 23:49, 24 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Lights and freedom Feel free to make the changes you see fit. Not everything has to be in the BE850, as you can see the readability is 12-13 year olds. We need to aim for 8th graders which is usually around 13 years of age. So go ahead and make your changes and I will run them through again and see where are and suggest anything else I see. The ones where you think readers may interpret I recommend wiki linking to the simple dictionary for that word. We also do want shorter sentences that basically get to the point without fill-in or fluff words. Any of the makeup versions (makeup, make up or make-up) can all be used to describe things one uses to put on there face to look pretty (do a google search for each word on it's own), and we would need to define that (hence wikilinking on those types of words). The last three you mentioned the simpler words are better as they are basic, where other may not necessarily be so. PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 00:03, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
@PotsdamLamb Got it. There will probably be a lot of content changes in the near future, so some sections will have to be reviewed for grammar again. Lights and freedom (talk) 00:39, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Lights and freedom Absolutely. That is the reason articles are under constant changes. :) Hence, the purpose of wikipedia. PDLTalk to me!OMG, What have I done? 01:38, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • I'm sorry not to have seen this earlier. Be aware that the 850 and 1500 lists were based on the status quo of 100 years ago. They are weak in science. Whole areas of science have been created since the lists were made. Just consider, for example, astronomy in 1920 versus astronomy in 2020. But where a concept is stable between these dates, then the idea behind the lists is fair and can be used confidently. Better ideas are to look for sentence structure, and vocabulary that you would used to a reasonably intelligent 12-yerd old.
Literary agents face these issues in a daily basis, and so do newspaper editors. George Orwell's novels are often used as an example. The King James Bible; Caesar's Gallic Wars, Shakespeare... The general idea is that good reading makes better writers. Rudolf Flesch's Art of plain talk, and The art of readable writing are classics. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:34, 1 July 2022 (UTC)Reply



I did some formatting here, including the following:

  • Put sections in correct order
  • Moved sister links to the other websites section, and removed the sister links that didn't lead anywhere
  • Moved the defaultsort right before the categories
  • Put in some blank lines to make it easier to work with the source

I'll see if I can do some simplifying, too. -- Auntof6 (talk) 21:44, 28 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

Which is better?


@Eptalon, Macdonald-ross, Gotanda, and Auntof6: I pinged you because I believe you are either a non-native speaker or have a lot of experience with simplifying language. Can you compare the intro on this page (Atom) and the intro I have rewritten here and tell me which you think is better in terms of simplicity, clarity, style, and information conveyed? And if the version I have rewritten is too complex, then how could it be simplified? Thanks! Lights and freedom (talk) 22:52, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply

Responding to the request at my talk page. I feel that the first three sentences of the current lead's first paragraph reads better, though the sentence about all substances are made out of atoms is fine. Combining the paragraphs about atomic numbers and isotopes is a good idea. Overall, the rewritten intro looks good to me. I do have a question, though it's not related to the lead itself, do you think that the title in {{Infobox atom}} should be changed to "Atom" instead of "Helium atom"? That's not what the article is about, and enwiki uses "Atom" while using the same image of a helium atom. — *Fehufangą✉ Talk page 05:18, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Fehufanga Thanks. Perhaps "These substances get their properties from the types of atoms, and the arrangement of atoms in space." is too complex. Do you think it's important to say "Each type has its own mass, size and number of parts"? The alternative would be to just remove the first sentence I mentioned, and use the rest of the rewritten intro.
I have made the suggested change to the infobox. I think it also needs to be simplified. Lights and freedom (talk) 05:25, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply
I think the original lead was fairly good, and would be better if its third sentence was changed. That sentence is just silly, because without light and the heat from the Sun, life as we know it would not exist. Therefore both atoms and radiation are necessary for life. (I'd think about whether "atoms" and "radiation" need qualifying.) I would throw out the infobox entirely. It's just ridiculously complicated for beginners. Bringing over infoboxes from En unchanged is generally a bad idea. I think this infobox is one of the worst I've ever seen (from the point of view of our objectives).
I ran my eye down lower, and found the sentence: "Most kinds of atoms were made by stars". Hmmm... Is it wise to raise issues which cannot be dealt with here? I discovered that some editors did not know where the higher elements on Earth came from, and have explained the facts on several pages. Actually (as far as we know) all kinds of atoms higher than hydrogen are made in stars.
Oh, summary: overall I think the issues go much further than simplification. For all that, it's not such a bad page!
Macdonald-ross (talk) 07:42, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • The article doesn't say anything about life so I'm not sure what you mean by that. And I have difficulty understanding. Are you saying to remove the sentence "Together, these types of atoms make up almost everything that we can see, touch, taste or smell. "?
  • How atoms are made can certainly be explained on this page. I don't know how much detail you think is necessary. This source [2] explains that the majority of helium in the universe and a significant amount of lithium were produced by the Big Bang. Lights and freedom (talk) 15:34, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply
You are quite right. I learnt that "in the first few minutes after the Big Bang, as the "soup" of free protons and neutrons which had initially been created in about 6:1 ratio cooled to the point that nuclear binding was possible, almost all first compound atomic nuclei to form were helium-4 nuclei". Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:28, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Macdonald-ross I have to admit that aside from the infobox, I don't really understand what you're saying should be changed. Lights and freedom (talk) 03:38, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply
Well, you've got a direct challenge to its comprehensibility, haven't you? It can't be promoted over such an objection, can it? Like everyone else I'm trying to work what should be done.
I suspect we need to stick more strictly to the text of the intro to En Atom. I don't think we can do a simplified version as we might to a non-science page. I would start by taking just the first sentence of each paragraph, and seeing if they make sense. I've seen several paras where that might work as a way forward. Macdonald-ross (talk) 16:47, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Macdonald-ross I have made a few small changes to the article, including removing the infobox. If you would like to replace the intro with the enwiki version, then do that and I can review it afterwards. I'm not sure if the "complex" tag should stay or not, because I'm not sure if it's simple enough. Lights and freedom (talk) 05:09, 22 August 2022 (UTC)Reply

One step back perhaps?


Hello, I think we are on really thin ice here, both chemical element and chemical compound will say part of what this article says. So I think even if its not the topic here:

  • We are basically talking about charged particles,flying around in space. Based on the number and type of particles, we get chemical elements, with properties.
  • Most of these occur in nature, but some do not (Not sure about Technetium, Element 43), Prometium (63) and Neptunium (93); Anything above Plutonium (94) doesn't occur in nature, and was man-made. Likely, it only existed for a short time, in a lab somewhere.
  • For some elements, there are different "versions" (called Isotopes), which have different properies.
  • Most elements are stable, but some change over time (called radioactive). To my knowledge, Technetium is the first radioactive element, with half lives between several hours and millions of years.
  • Given some rules, certain atoms bond with other atoms to form molecules; also chemical compounds
  • The "indivisible" atom can be subdivideed into smaller particles; there seems to be a whole zoo of them.

For me one of the questions is also: what iformation goes where? Eptalon (talk) 16:42, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply

@Eptalon My understanding is that you're saying the intro might be too long, or missing some things. Is that right? Also, the german version de:Atom is a featured article. I don't speak German, but I used Google Translate and could understand what it was saying. What do you think about that article in comparison to the English page en:Atom? Lights and freedom (talk) 16:53, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply
"We are basically talking about charged particles,flying around in space"
No, we are talking about atoms, which are mostly uncharged. Charged atoms are usually called ions. Also, they do not fly, they glide. Atoms, with rare exceptions, have no intrinsic means of locomotion or acceleration. David spector (talk) 18:58, 3 October 2022 (UTC)Reply



Most parts of the article can be referenced with a few textbooks such as this one, which are reliable. However, many of the current references here are to webpages for particular topics, which may be more accessible and interesting, such as this page on radioactivity. What should we do about this situation? Lights and freedom (talk) 23:00, 22 August 2022 (UTC)Reply

Return to "Atom" page.