when you break an element apart (e.g., gold), do the atoms on this external layer restructure at all?

Update:

As a commenter put it, what I am asking is if you break apart the crystal structure of bulk gold, do the atoms on this new external layer restructure at all? 

Update 2:

Silicon is structured via covalent bonding right?

So if I break a bulk of silicon in half. What happens to the electrons that were used in the bond that is now broken? 

Do they just dangle around with no other atom to bond with? 

9 Answers

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  • 3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you break an atom apart by removing electrons you make an ion. This is done in liquids and gasses. You can alter solids by ionic bonding other elements to them like rust or anodizing or plating.

    Study chemistry to find a better answer.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Nothing really happens... do not fully understand the question.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Well, nothing. When you are to break a block of silicon, you're breaking across a crack/deformation along it's crystal structure. It's not a perfect diamond, which can be only broken by other diamonds (and diamonds are made of carbon any way, but I digress). 

    When you break a block of silicon, you're not breaking the bonds between them. You're mechanically breaking the block. 

    In chemistry, the only way to break bonds is chemically. That can be done by either 

    A) applying heat

    B) introducing a new element that can bond with Silicon

    C) Dousing it in acid. Which is a bad thing. You could die. Don't do this.

    Covalent bonds are one of the stronger bonds found in nature. It's pretty much impossible to break those bonds mechanically. It's just not going to happen.

    Good question though. I recommend you do some more research about how bonds work and what it takes to break them. Otherwise, just keep learning about chemistry! We need more chemists in the field anyway.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    even with the update it remains unintelligible...

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    no u dont, atoms cant do that

  • Robin
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    no or you would have an atom bomb

  • 3 weeks ago

    Hey guys! Check this out! I wonder what happens when I split this ato..... 

    Attachment image
  • 3 weeks ago

    What do you mean by "break an element apart"? Are you asking about breaking the crystal structure of bulk gold, or are you asking about "breaking" the individual atoms?

    The first one is metallurgy, the second is atomic physics.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    say what?  Please repost in English.

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