What do atomic numbers represent?

1 Answer
Mar 26, 2016

Answer:

The atomic number, #Z#, is the number of positively charged particles within the nucleus.

Explanation:

So #Z# defines the identity of the element, if #Z# #=# #1#, the element is hydrogen; if #Z# #=# #3#, the element is lithium; if #Z# #=# #23#, the element is vanadium.

Do you have to remember these numbers? NO, because for every exam you sit in chemistry or physics you MUST be supplied with a copy of the Periodic Table.

So, if #Z# represents the number of positively charged nuclear particles, how many electrons, negatively charged particles does the neutral element contain?