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How do you calculate the atomic number of an element?

Last updated date: 13th Aug 2024
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Hint: The answer for this question lies in the fact about the periodic table and also about the total number of protons present in the nucleus of an element which is related to the atomic number.

In the classes of chemistry, we have dealt with the topics which relate to the atoms and its structure and properties and also its composition where this gives information about what atoms are made up of.
We shall focus on the atom in detail so that we can deduce the required answer.
- An atom is the smallest particle that exists and is a matter that forms an element. Atoms are extremely small and are of about 100 picometers across in size.
- Atoms are composed mainly of a central nucleus in which the protons and neutrons are concentrated in it. Protons are the positively charged species and neutrons are the neutral species.
- Around this nucleus, the electrons that are the negatively charged species revolve in a circular orbit where the number of protons are always equal to the number of electrons.
If we consider an example which is given as the data that is,
- Calculate the atomic number of an element which has the total number of protons = 8 and also have the mass number of 16.
We can provide a solution for this question as,
The number of protons is nothing but its atomic number and the answer thus will be,
Atomic number = 8
- Also since the number of protons and electrons are the same, even if the question consists of only data of electrons and mass number, the answer would be the same.
- In this way we can calculate the atomic number of an element.

Note: Note that the atomic number of an element can also be found if the number of neutrons and mass number are given by using the formula, Atomic number (number of protons) = mass number – number of neutrons.