The Role of Subatomic Particles in Determining the Mass of an Atom
The mass of an atom is determined by its subatomic particles, namely electrons, protons, and neutrons. Electrons are the lightest particles, accounting for only 0.05% of an atom’s mass (Szabo, 2016). Protons, on the other hand, have a much greater impact on the mass of an atom, making up nearly all of an atom’s mass. Neutrons, though slightly heavier than protons, still make up a relatively small proportion of an atom’s mass (Nave, 2021). The number of protons and neutrons found in an atom will determine the element as well as the atom’s mass. This is because these particles have mass, unlike electrons. The number of electrons, however, will affect the atom’s charge and other properties (Barker, 2020).
The number of protons and neutrons in an atom is determined by the element and is known as the atomic number. This is why all atoms of the same element will have the same number of protons and neutrons, and thus the same mass (Poulsen, 2016). Cont….
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