Someone gave me definition of atomic number as follows:
The number of electron or proton present in a neutral atom is called atomic number. It is represented by
What does neutral mean here? Why doesn't he just say "..present in an atom is called..."?
Electrons and protons are charged particles. The electrons have negative change, while protons have positive change. A neutral atom is an atom where the changes of the electrons and the protons balance. Luckily, one electron has the same charge (with opposite sign) as a proton.
Example: Carbon has 6 protons. The neutral Carbon atom has 6 electrons. The atomic number is 6 since there are 6 protons.Tweet