Are oxygen atoms different from the atoms of other elements?

1 Answer
Sep 19, 2016


The proposition is true. Oxygen atoms are different from the atoms of other elements. Why?


An oxygen atom possesses 8 protons, 8 massive, positively charged nuclear particles. There are also 8 massive, neutrally charged nuclear particles, 8 neutrons in the common isotope, #""^16O#. And orbiting the nuclear core, there are 8 electrons, fundamental particles with negligible mass that each possess a formal negative charge.

Any atom with 8 protons is automatically an oxygen atom by defintion. 7 protons specifies a nitrogen atom; 9 protons specifies a fluorine atom. Of course, oxygen generally takes the form of the dioxygen molecule, #O_2#. The number of protons gives #Z#, the atomic number, which is different for each element.