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Unformatted text preview: periodic table, and its chemical properties. For instance, any atom with six protons is carbon, whereas any atom with seven protons is nitrogen. The number of neutrons in an atom determines which isotope of that atom it is. Helium-4 (2 protons + 2 neutrons = 4) has 1 more neutron than helium-3 (2 protons + 1 neutron) and is therefore a different isotope, but both isotopes are still helium atoms because they both have two protons. The study of nuclei is known as nuclear physics. The nucleus is surrounded by the lighter electrons, which take up most of the volume of the atom. A normal atom has the same number of electrons as protons, and so has zero net charge. If the atom has a different number of electrons than protons it is called an ion; ions with more electrons than protons have a net negative charge and are said to be negatively ionized, while ions with fewer electrons than protons have a net positive charge and are said to be positively ionized. The study of atoms in general, and their electrons in particular, is known as atomic physics. Experiment description
Understanding the electron is essential for understanding atoms and matter in general. Two important properties of th...
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