Understanding Atoms and the Periodic Table of elements. Chapter 6 SNC1P – m. Couturier. The atom. Atoms are made up of three sub-atomic particles: protons, neutrons and electrons.
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The mass number is the summation of the protons and neutrons within the atom’s nucleus. The mass number is essential when trying to determine the number of neutrons (assuming you are given the atomic number) and the isotope you are dealing with. Example: Carbon-12 and Carbon-14 are isotopes of carbon. The number 12 an 14 are their mass numbers respectively.