This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: is a superscript on the left of the atomic symbol. It denotes the sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the particular isotope being described. For example: refers to an isotope of carbon which has (as expected for the element carbon) six protons, and six neutrons. The following isotope of carbon: has 6 protons (atomic number) and 8 neutrons (8=14-6). This isotope is also known simply as "carbon 14". Carbon 12 is the most common form of carbon (~99% of all carbon). An atom of a specific isotope is called a nuclide . Since all atoms are composed of protons, electrons and neutrons, all chemical and physical differences between elements are due to the differences in the number of these sub-atomic particles. Therefore, an atom is the smallest sample of an element, because dividing an atom further (into sub-atomic particles) destroys the element's unique identitity....
View Full Document