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B What particles make up an atom?

  1. Feb 24, 2017 #1
    I'm trying to find a way to understand Q.P.
    So far I know that each element contains as many protons as it does nuetrons or electrons. Is that right?
    Derp lol
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2017 #2


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    Science Advisor

    No. For instance, hydrogen usually does not contain neutrons at all.
  4. Feb 24, 2017 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    An atom is made up of a nucleus, which is positively charged, surrounded by electrons. The nucleus is made up of protons and neutrons (with the exception of regular hydrogen, as pointed out by Demystifier). The number of protons, known as the atomic number, determines the charge of the nucleus and the element (hydrogen, helium, carbon, etc.) The number of protons and neutrons determine the isotope. For a neutral atom, the number of negatively charged electrons must be equal to the number of positively charged protons in the nucleus.

    Depending on your level, I suggest that you get a good textbook in physics. There are also many instructive videos on YouTube. Hyperphysics is also a good resource: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu
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