An understanding of basic physical and chemical properties is essential to the study of electronics.
Even the more complex electronic devices can be reduced to a study of electron behavior in solids
or gases. To follow explanations for semiconductor devices, for example, the student must have a
knowledge of how atoms bond together to make a crystal. It is the purpose of this program to
provide the basic knowledge of atomic structure necessary for a further study of electronics.
It has been shown in a related lesson that matter (anything which has mass and occupies space) is
not constructed randomly, but is composed of definite building blocks' arranged in an identifiable
1. All matter is made up of either a single element or a combination (two or more) of elements. An
element is a substance that cannot be broken down into a simpler substance by any chemical
means. There are 92 known basic elements. In addition to the 92 naturally occurring elements,
there are more than a dozen others that are not found in nature called transuranium elements.
These elements are all made of atoms that have more mass than the uranium atom.
A molecule is the smallest particle of a substance that retains the characteristics of the substance.
Molecules are constructed of one or more atoms, the smallest particles of an element that retain the
identity of the element. Molecules are held together by electrical forces between one or more
electrons of one atom of another atom.