What atomic particles occupy the nucleus of an atom?

1 Answer
Jun 5, 2016

Answer:

Why protons and neutrons.

Explanation:

The nucleus is composed of protons, massive, positively charged, nuclear particles, and neutrons, massive neutrally charged nuclear particles. The number of protons, #Z#, is the atomic number and determines the identity of the element. #Z=1, H#, #Z=2, He#, #Z=3, Li#..........

Different numbers of neutrons gives rise to the existence of isotopes: i.e. #""^1H,"protium"#, #""^2H,"deuterium"#, #""^3H,"tritium"#. Given what I have said, can you tell me the number of neutrons in each isotope? Why do they have different masses?

Nuclear protons and neutrons engage in the strong nuclear force, a potent short range force that over-rides electrostatic repulsion, and binds the nucleus together.