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Atoms Explained In The Simplest Way: Let The Avengers Teach You


By Siddharth Sharma

Let me start by saying atoms are the smallest building blocks of everything. By everything, I mean humans as well. You might have studied that cells are the building blocks of organisms, and yes they are, but these cells themselves are made up of complex proteins, which are long chains of compounds comprising of atoms of different elements like Carbon and Nitrogen. But that’s a discussion for another time. Let me tell you what the atoms themselves are made up of. (So deep I found oil)

Most of us know here the conventional Bohr’s model where the electrons revolve around the nucleus in shells like the planets do around the Sun (Only one orbit has more than 1 electron).


That is the basic outline. The exact picture is what you’re going to see.

Step 1: Imagine a picture of the Earth revolving around the Sun, and the Moon revolving around the Earth.

Step 2: The moon’s actual orbit is circular around the Earth. But imagine it to be spherical.

Step 3: Imagine the Earth isn’t there (Oh Shit). Then how the moon moves around the Sun, would be how an electron in an “S orbital” moves around the nucleus of the atom.

Quantum Number 0: S orbital- The HULK

Great imagining, people (Like Dora). Now what the hell is an orbital? Orbitals are sub-shells. That’s right! Inside the orbits, the electrons perform motion other than just revolving around the nucleus. Each motion has an energy attached to it which defines how strong the electron is bound to the nucleus. The S orbital i.e. the spherical orbital is the strongest. You may call it The Hulk of all the orbitals.



Number 1: P orbital- IRON MAN

The next orbital in line is the P orbital. Now instead of the spherical motion it revolves around 3 bow-like structures in all the 3 planes.

You might call the P orbital The Iron Man of the orbitals. Pretty strong most of the time, yet can act as a jerk and be unattached. But he is the fans’ favourite, burning enemies like a boss. And so is the p orbital that forms the basis of life with its most stable p pi bonds, i.e. the Carbon-Carbon bonds.

You must think the electrons are crazy pieces of shit, moving like monkeys all around the nucleus. It isn’t like that. These are just the mathematical probabilities of finding these electrons inside the atom, calculated by scientists using supercomputers. So the orbital is like a GPS to find an electron.


Number 2: D orbital- THOR

Next up is the D orbital. D orbital electrons are paranoid. Literally, they don’t know where to go and what to do. And there are 5 different types of them! (Just Imagine).

D orbital is the Thor of the orbitals. It does nothing and is the least famous. (Sorry Thor fans)


























Number 3: F orbital- HAWKEYE 

F is for f**ked up. Really, in the sense that their shape and position was the hardest to determine. In fact we were taught it is shapeless.

F is Hawkeye. Because it has the worst screening effect (against aliens.. with a bow and arrow).

(And no, he doesn’t warrant an image of his own)

Screening Effect

D & F orbitals have poor screening i.e. the electrons in energy levels beyond them are more attached to the nucleus than themselves. This means that when it’s war time and a compound is being formed and the atom has to lose an electron, the outside electron of the next shell will stay and the d and f ones will go. They’re like the pawns in a battle (easy to lose and easy to obtain). Nobody misses Hawkeye though.

So where is Black Widow?

She is the nucleus. YEAH! All the avengers revolve around her and hulk is the closest.

The Nucleus- BLACK WIDOW

The black widow has 2 parts. The BOOTY and the epic fighting skills are the protons. Attractive as hell.

While the emotional, lovey-dovey side are the neutrons. Just additions to her character.


Atomic Assembly

Electrons move very fast around the nucleus.  So it is impossible to see them as they are inside the atom, we cannot just put a microscope and see how the electrons are moving, even if we achieve the optical power to do so. This atom can also be further subdivided into quarks, leptons and bosons.

Simply put, like the Marvel Universe, all the Avengers are difficult to assemble here as well. But until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on. Because,  this is some pretty deep shit. ‘Ignorance is bliss’ holds true there. Trust me.

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