▫ Matter is anything that occupies space and has mass.
▫ The atom is a basic unit of matter, comprising a nucleus and electrons. An atomic nucleus typically comprises protons and neutrons.
Only the simplest form of hydrogen, with a single proton, can have a nucleus without neutrons. Protons on their own repulse each other. So, any stable atom with multiple protons also has neutrons. Neutrons are necessary to hold atomic nuclei together.
▫ Matter involves a hierarchy of combinations. Subatomic particles form atoms. Atoms form molecules. Molecules combine to form a vast variety of compounds.
▫ From atoms up, electrical properties provide guidance for the energetic transactions (reactions) of building up more complex macromolecules or breaking them down.
▫ Electrons swirl about atomic nuclei in an orbital cloud, equalizing the positive charge of protons via the negative charge possessed by electrons. Electron clouds self-organize into layers (shells) which generally differentiate by energy levels. Shell layering is an hd dynamic.
▫ The Zen of matter is emptiness. An atom’s electron cloud whorls far above its nucleus. An atom is 99.99+% space.