How does the nucleus of a copper atom compare to the nucleus of a nickel atom?

1 Answer
Apr 10, 2017

Answer:

They are of similar size, and similar nuclear charge, but there is one CRUCIAL difference.

Explanation:

#Ni, Z=28# contains ONE LESS PROTON, one less positively charge massive nuclear particle, than #Cu, Z=29#.

This difference in the #Z# enables us to identify the different elements as copper and nickel respectively. The nuclei contain 30 or so neutrons, but these differentiate the #"isotopes"# of each element, the number of neutrons do not differentiate the #"identity"# of each element.