What is the atomic number of most atoms of oxygen? What is the mass number of most atoms of oxygen?

1 Answer
Mar 8, 2016

Answer:

#Z#, the atomic number of ALL oxygen atoms is #8#. Most oxygen is the #""^16O# isotope.

Explanation:

The atomic number, the number of massive, positively-charged nuclear particles, defines the identity of the element. #Z# #=# #6#, the element is carbon, #Z# #=# #7#, the element is nitrogen, BUT #Z# #=# #8#, the element is OXYGEN.

The oxygen nucleus usually contains #8# neutrons (so #""^16O# is the most common isotope), but #""^17O# and #""^18O# are stable. (How many neutrons does each species contain?)

The thing to remember is the atomic number, #Z#. #Z# defines the identity of the element. In fact you don't even have to remember #Z#, as a Periodic Table will be supplied in all your examinations.

How does oxygen occur in the natural world?