If we have an atom for which #Z=17# that possesses #"16 electrons"#, how would we represent it symbolically?

1 Answer
Mar 4, 2016

Answer:

If #Z#, the atomic number, #=# #17#, the element MUST be chlorine.

Explanation:

The atomic number relates to the number of protons, fundamental positively charged particles in the nucleus. The number of protons defines the element. Because there are #16# electrons only (negatively charged particles which orbit the nucleus), we would represent the element as #Cl^+#, which is an unusual situation for this element to be in (normally it forms the #Cl^-# ion!). There are 6 valence electrons on this species.

Do you have to remember this? No, because you should always be given a copy of the Periodic Table. You should have access to one now, and you certainly should be able to tell me what element we have when #Z# #=# #16#, and #Z# #=# #18#.