What does the atomic number of an element tell you?

1 Answer
Feb 20, 2017


Identifies the number of protons a single atom of the element contains.


The atomic number helps people identify elements according to the number of protons one atom of the element has. It essentially defines the element.

While having a neutral charge, it also provides the number of electrons the element has (in one atom).

While isotopes are a thing, it doesn't completely change the atom.

Have a different number of neutrons, you have an isotope, but if the number of protons differ, you are dealing with an entirely different element (in neutral state - reactions are out of the picture).

Hope this helps :)