It’s not as hard to find the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons in an element.Part of your answer will be in front of you.You can find the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons once you know where to look.
Step 1: There is a periodic table of elements.
The periodic table shows elements by their atomic structure.Each element is assigned a unique 1 or 2-letter abbreviation.The atomic weight and atomic number are included.The periodic table can be found online or in a chemistry book.A periodic table is usually provided in tests.
Step 2: The periodic table has your element on it.
The metals, non-metals, and metalloids are separated into three main groups by the table.There are further groupings of noble gases and alkali metals.The group can make it easier to locate the element on the table.If you don’t know any other properties, you can search the table for the symbol of the element.
Step 3: Find the element’s atomic number.
The atomic number can be found in the upper left-hand corner of the square.The atomic number tells you how many protons are in an element.boron has 5 protons because it has an atomic number of 5.
Step 4: Determine the number of electrons.
There are particles in the nucleus of an atom that have a positive charge.There are particles with a negative charge.A neutral state element will have the same number of protons and electrons.It has 5 protons and 5 electrons when it has an atomic number of 5.The protons and electrons will not be the same if the element has a negative or positive ion.You have to calculate them.After the element, the ion number will appear as a small superscript.
Step 5: The element has an atomic mass.
The atomic mass is the first thing you need to find the number of neutrons.The weighted average mass of atoms of an element is known as the atomic weight.Underneath the symbol for the element is the atomic mass.The atomic mass should be rounded to the nearest whole number.The atomic mass of boron is 10.811, but you can round it up to 11.
Step 6: Subtract the number from the mass.
You need to subtract the atomic number from the mass to find the number of neutrons.The number of protons is the same as the atomic number.Our boron example has 11atomic mass and 5atomic number.
Step 7: The net charge should be identified.
The net charge of an ion will be a small number.An ion has a positive or negative charge due to the addition or removal of electrons.The number of electrons in an ion is different than in the atom.The ion becomes positive when you remove electrons.The ion becomes negative when you add more electrons.N and Ca each have a +2 charge.If there is no superscripted ion number following the element, you don’t have to do this calculation.
Step 8: The charge is subtracted from the atomic number.
The atom loses electrons when an ion has a positive charge.The extra charge from the atomic number is used to calculate the remaining number of electrons.There are more protons than electrons in a positive ion.Ca lost 2 electrons from the neutral state because it has a +2 charge.The ion has 18 electrons because the atomic number of calcium is 20.
Step 9: The charge is added to the atomic number.
The atom has gained electrons when an ion has a negative charge.Extra charge is added to the atomic number to calculate the total number of present electrons.There are more electrons than protons in a negative ion.N has a -2 charge and has gained 3 electrons compared to the neutral state.Nitrogen has an atomic number of 7.