Today’s let’s discuss an interesting topic. To be clear, this is the very basic of Science. It’s about the atoms. Let me explain you in detail about these atoms.

Origin of the term atom:

The term ‘Atom‘ is generally derived from the Greek word ‘Atomos‘.Generally, atoms are very hard. In Greek, the prefix ‘a’ means ‘not’ and ‘tomos’ means ‘cut’. Thus meaning uncuttable. Thus the term ‘atomos’ means indivisible and the term ‘atom’ was derived from ‘atomos’.

What is an atom?

Atom is the smallest particle. To explain the size of an atom, imagine a cricket ball.

Comparison of cricketball and atom

Source: Wikipedia

If atom is the smallest particle, then cricket ball is like an Earth.

Now, I guess, you would have understood the size of an atom.

What is atom made up of ?

An atom has three basic constituents. They are nothing but,

  • Protons
  • Electrons
  • Neutrons.


The protons are generally positive charge. They are shown with red color balls in the above image. The neutrons are chargeless. Hence, they are shown with white color balls. The electrons are negative in charge. They are shown by blue color balls.

The protons and neutrons together form a nucleus. The electrons revolve around the nucleus.

How do these constituents attract and repel?


Like charges repel and Unlike charges attract each other.

For example, Two positive charges will repel each other. Two negative charges will repel each other. But, a positive charge and a negative charge will attract each other.

Now, let’s get back to the question.

Can you really touch an object?

Technically speaking, you can never touch an object.

You may now be thinking that I am making fun of you. But, I will explain you actually what happens. You can get to know after you try out these simple experiments.

Experiment to try out:

Take a plastic glass filled with water. Make a small hole in the glass in such a way, that water flows out of the plastic glass continuously. Now, take a balloon filled with air. Now, rub this balloon with your body hair. Now, bring this balloon closer to the water draining out the plastic glass. And see what happens next …

Another experiment to try out:

Take 2 balloons filled with air. Rub these two balloons with your body hair.  Now, bring these two balloons closer and see what happens.

If you are interested in watching these experiments, check this video from LMES.

Why did those objects repel ?

In both the above experiments, you would have noticed repulsion.

Since you brought closer two objects of the same charge, a repulsive force acts between these two objects.


Whatever the object you touch, your body experiences a repulsive force. But, this repulsive force is minute and you don’t experience it.

Since, two electrons ( which revolve around the nucleus in orbits) cannot come closer, you cannot touch an object.

I guess, you would have liked this discussion. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends on social media. You can subscribe to our education newsletter for more posts.


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