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A difference in protons

  1. Sep 11, 2010 #1
    A difference in protons....

    Im not sure weather this is a pure chemistry question or if it has to do with physics as well so i posted in both forums...please don't hate me.

    How does a difference in the number of protons in an element lead to such a difference in the properties (color, texture, form, etc.) of elements? I.E Gold and Mercury. This question has been driving me crazy and I would really appreciate any answers. Thank You.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2010 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: A difference in protons....

    Atoms are neutral, so the number of protons determines the number of electrons, and the electrons partricipate in chemical reactions.
     
  4. Sep 11, 2010 #3
    Re: A difference in protons....

    Thanks for the reply. I should have explained that im a layman in the field... How do the electrons "participate" in chemical reactions that lead to such a diversity of properties :confused:. How does the one extra electron in mercury make it so different from gold?
     
  5. Sep 11, 2010 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: A difference in protons....

    Essentially, that question is "what is chemistry", and takes a textbook to explain.
     
  6. Sep 11, 2010 #5
    Re: A difference in protons....

    well its ok some really nice guy explained it in my post on the https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=428114".. thanks anyway.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
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