How to Make a 3-Dimensional Model of a Titanium Atom

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Titanium is a versatile metal, being both very light and exceptionally strong. It resists corrosion, is nonmagnetic and exists in large quantities in the Earth's crust. These properties make it ideal for use in things as diverse as replacement hip joints and aircraft engines. The structure of the titanium atom is complex, with 22 protons, 26 neutrons and 22 electrons. Creating a Bohr model of the atom is the best approach because, although it simplifies the nature of electrons, it does make the atomic structure easier to visualize.

    Glue 22 red beads and 26 green beads to the surface of the table tennis ball, covering it completely, to form the central part of the atom, the nucleus. Mix the colors to form a random pattern, overlapping the beads if necessary. Allow the glue to dry.

    Use a drop of quick-setting glue to attach one end of the string to the ball. Hold the ball, suspended by the string, to make sure it hangs vertically under the string without looking lopsided. If it does not hang well, remove the string and try again.

    Glue two black beads to the 6-inch wire hoop. Glue eight black beads to the 8-inch hoop, 10 black beads to the 10-inch hoop and two black beads to the 12-inch hoop. Space the beads out around the hoops. Allow the glue to dry.

    Tie the 6-inch hoop to the string with a simple knot so the nucleus of red and green beads hangs in the center of the hoop. One inch farther up the string, attach the 8-inch hoop so the previous hoop hangs in its center. Repeat at one inch intervals with the 10-inch and 12-inch hoops to form a series of concentric circles with black "electron" beads circling the nucleus ball.

    Adjust the spacing of the rings as necessary and then fix them in place with a drop of glue over each knot in the string. Hang the model from the end of the string.

    Things You'll Need

    • 22 small round black beads
    • 22 small round red beads
    • 26 small round green beads
    • Table tennis ball
    • Glue
    • Quick-setting glue
    • 1 yard of thin string
    • 4 wire hoops, one each of 6-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch diameters


    • Space the black electron beads around the rings rather than clumping them together.

      Hang the hoops at right angles to each other enhance the 3-D look of the model.


    • If you use instant-setting glue, take care not to glue yourself to the beads.

      Do not leave small beads unattended if small children share your work area. They are a choking hazard.


About the Author

David Robinson has written professionally since 2000. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society. He has written for the "Telegraph" and "Guardian" newspapers in the U.K., government publications, websites, magazines and school textbooks. He holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in geography and education and a teaching certificate from Durham University, England.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images