Explain how the atomic number of an atom is determined.

Question:

Explain how the atomic number of an atom is determined.

What is an Atom?:

An atom is the smallest unit of all matter, including liquids, solids, gases and plasma. Atoms make up elements, which are the pure substances that can't be broken down further chemically. Each element has a different atomic number.

Answer and Explanation: 1

The atomic number of an atom is the number of protons in the nucleus of that atom. Every element has a different atomic number, because each type of atom that makes up the different elements has a different number of protons. Protons are the positively charged particles that are housed in the nucleus of the atom. The atomic number for each element is listed on the periodic table of elements. For example, the element hydrogen has an atomic number of 1. This means that it has one proton in its nucleus. The element oxygen has an atomic number of 8, which means it has eight protons in its nucleus.


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Atomic Number and Mass Number

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Chapter 2 / Lesson 1
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Atoms are the basic building blocks of everything around you. In order to really understand how atoms combine to form molecules, it's necessary to be familiar with their structure. In this lesson, we'll dissect atoms so we can see just what really goes into those little building blocks of matter.


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