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Subatomic Particles
An atom is the smallest part of an
element that retains the same chemical
properties as the element.
 The nucleus is the central part of an
atom. It is made up of protons and
neutrons and contains most of the atom’s
 The nucleus was discovered by Ernest
Rutherford in 1911.
Protons (p+)
◦ Positively charged particles found in nucleus.
◦ Mass of 1 atomic mass unit (AMU).
◦ Discovered by Ernest Rutherford in 1911.
Neutrons (n0)
◦ Neutral particles found in nucleus.
◦ Mass of 1 atomic mass unit (AMU).
◦ Discovered by James Chadwick in 1932.
Electrons (e-)
◦ Negative particles found in nucleus.
◦ Negligible mass.
◦ Discovered by J.J. Thomson in 1897.
Subatomic Particles
The number of protons in an atom
 Can be found by looking at the top of each
box on the periodic table
In a neutral atom, the number of electrons
is the same as the number of protons
Atomic Number
The number of protons and neutrons added
Usually seen after the element name or
symbol (carbon – 13). Mass number is NOT
found on the periodic table.
Mass Number = p+
How would you find the neutrons if you knew
the protons and mass number?
◦ Neutrons = mass number – protons
Mass Number
How many protons, neutrons, and
electrons are in a neutral atom of:
fluorine – 20.
◦ Protons =
◦ Neutrons =
◦ Electrons =
9 (from periodic table)
11 (20 – 9)
9 (electrons = protons)
Isotopes of the same elements have:
◦ Same number of protons & electrons and
atomic number.
◦ Different number of neutrons and therefore a
different mass number.
Atoms of the SAME element, with different
numbers of neutrons
◦ Copper – 63
 (29 p+, 34 no, 29 e-)
◦ Copper – 65
 (29 p+, 36 no, 29 e-)
𝑴𝒂𝒔𝒔 𝑵𝒖𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓
𝑨𝒕𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒄 𝑵𝒖𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓
Isotope Symbols