Applied Science AQA/Atomic Structure

Topic TitleEdit

Setting Applied contextEdit

Scientists working in any area of chemical industry or research require a firm understanding of atomic structure and electron configurations and their use in providing the fundamental basis for chemical structures and reactions. Radiographers, environmental chemists and archaeologists all make use of specific isotopes in their work. Analytical chemists use UV/visible spectra and flame emission spectra to help characterise substances and colorimetry as a quantitative analytical technique. The origin of colour in compounds is of great importance in the dye-, pigment-, and paint-based industries and to development chemists researching new products.

Syllabus Content What you need to do
•    atomic structure in terms of protons, neutrons and electrons, and their relative charges and relative masses

•    the terms atomic (proton) number (Z), mass number (A), isotope, isotopic abundance

•    electron configurations for atoms and ions up to Z = 36 in terms of shells

•    the origin of coloured flame emission spectra and of colour in transition metal compounds in terms of electron transitions
calculating relative atomic mass, relative molecular mass and relative formula mass in terms of 12 C.

Exploration of key ideas (must be original text, not C&P) – level checked by AQAEdit

In general, point students towards the approach to take, as opposed to just giving them information.

What's in an atomEdit

The nucleus...


mad scientist

Concept 2Edit

explanation 2

Concept 3Edit

explanation 3

Concept 4Edit

explanation 4

Study TaskEdit

Work to do to understand this topic e.g. research, analysis

Careers and OrganisationsEdit

Carry out some research into these jobs in this area. (Feel free to add other jobs you find.)

Research these roles: What are the benefits of this role to society? What organisations would employ someone in this role? 

(Where would they work?)

What would someone in this role have to do within the organisation? What scientifically-related skills do they need to have? 

What techniques do they need to have mastered?

What experience is needed to undertake this role and its responsibilities within an organisation? What other science personnel will they work with in their organisation.
Job 1
Job 2

Relevant practical/sEdit

– relating to criteria skills

Quick questionsEdit


quick questions


click to reveal answer

Exam-style questionsEdit

– can we use old AQA qs… e.g. from more than 5 years ago? With Examiner comments


click to reveal answer


to other sections within this book

to good external websites (including AQA website, wikipedia, relevant applications / companies) - also considering links in spec

References / BibliographyEdit

of recommended text books

including mapped refs to existing books

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