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Extra mass in atoms?

  1. Sep 30, 2004 #1
    I'm a highschool kid taking chemistry, and I'm confused about how atoms get their listed mass. Take Neon for instance, it's got 10 protons, 10 neutrons, and 10 electroncs, it's normally not an ion or isotopic. So from what my teacher's explained, Neon shold have an Atomic Mass of 10 from the protons, 10 from the neutrons, and around .005 from 10 electroncs. However, on the periodic table of elements, it says Neon has an atomic mass of 20.18. So where do these extra .175 AMU's come from? Has he over-simplified something and Protons or Neutrons really weigh a bit more than exactly 1 AMU, or is there something else about Atoms that gives them more weight than they should have?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2004 #2


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    The periodic table usually lists a weighted average of the isotopes of a substance.

    Neon has three stable isotopes Ne-20 (90.48%), Ne-21 (0.27%) and Ne-22 (9.25%) the atomic weight is a weighted average of the atomic massess of these isotopes.
  4. Sep 30, 2004 #3

    I wish my chemistry could have answered my question like that instead of "That's tomorrow's lesson", would have taken less time than it did for me to try to get him to answer the question.
  5. Oct 2, 2004 #4


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    genrarly, we ignore the mass of the electrons because they are so insignificantly small, you would need 1835 electrons to equal the mass of 1 proton, and you cant get that much on a single atom becuase you would normally need that many protons to cancel out the charge, and the periodic table does quite reach 1835 elements.
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