What Happens to the Atoms?

What Happens to the Atoms? explains how atoms and molecules rearrange as a result of chemical reactions. The book begins with an introduction in which students are reminded of basic concepts about atoms and molecules. Then, three simple investigations are described; two are chemical reactions (mixing baking soda and vinegar and letting steel wool rust), and one is not (mixing sugar and water). A detailed explanation of what happens to the atoms, in both words and diagrams, is provided for each investigation. At the end, readers are invited to consider what happens to the atoms in an exciting reaction—sodium and chlorine combining to make ordinary table salt. What Happens to the Atoms? helps students understand what is happening on a molecular level during their own investigations.