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Atomic mass vs. atomic number

  1. Jun 13, 2005 #1
    which is more important to the chemical behaviour of an element?

    cant seem to find this anwhere
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2005 #2
    atomic mass
  4. Jun 13, 2005 #3
    Electrons and orbitals are an important part of chemistry, unless something is an ion the atomic number is the number of electrons. I would say atomic numer is more important.
  5. Jun 13, 2005 #4
    how come? :smile:
  6. Jun 13, 2005 #5
    atomic mass
  7. Jun 13, 2005 #6
    well basically put it this way... carbon has different kinds of atomic mass, one is 14, one is 12 and some are other number. 14 is the most reactive one among all the isotopes of carbon. so therefore, atomic mass is important in chemical reaction in elements
  8. Jun 13, 2005 #7
    love_joyously, atomic mass definetly becomes more important on the nuclear level, but I still stand by what I have already said.

    J_o_S, in chemistry you study bonding and reactions and the electrons play an important part in that.
  9. Jun 13, 2005 #8


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Gamecubesupreme is wrong. love_joyously is wrong. To both of you: please do not answer questions when you are not sure your answer is correct.

    The atomic mass is almost completely irrelevant in almost all chemical reactions. The number of valence-shell electrons (determined by the atomic number) is by FAR the most important chemical property of an element.

    - Warren
  10. Jun 13, 2005 #9
    ok.. sorry. my bad
  11. Jun 13, 2005 #10
    Do not feel bad, he did say "element" which would probably cause people to think of atoms by themselves rather than the interactions with other atoms.
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