If an atom has six protons and four neutrons, what is its charge?
The number of protons an atom has is equal to its atomic number. In this case, there are 3 protons, so its atomic number is 3 and this is lithium (Li), the third element on the periodic table. [ Atomic mass is sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Here, that is 3 and 4, respectively, giving our atom an atomic mass of 7. The number of electrons does not affect either the
atomic number or the atomic mass, but instead determines the bonding properties of the atom and whether it has a charge. If the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons, as is the case here, the charge is neutral (0). If there are more electrons than protons, the atom will be negatively charged (5 electrons and 3 protons --> charge = -2), and if there are more protons than electrons, the atom will be positively charged (2 electrons and 3 protons --> charge = +1).
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Expert answered|IfNotSo|Points 6579|
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