Question #ab82c

1 Answer
Apr 29, 2014

The atomic mass (ma) is the mass of an atomic particle, sub-atomic particle, or molecule. It may be expressed in unified atomic mass units; by international agreement, 1 atomic mass unit is defined as 1/12 of the mass of a single carbon-12 atom.

Atomic mass is the sum of the masses of the protons, neutrons, and electrons in an atom, or the average mass, in a group of atoms. However, electrons have so much less mass than protons and neutrons that they don't factor into the calculation. So, the atomic mass is the sum of the masses of protons and neutrons.

In chemistry and physics, the atomic number of a chemical element (also known as its proton number) is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom of that element, and therefore identical to the charge number of the nucleus. It is conventionally represented by the symbol Z.