Periodic Table and Subatomic Particles

The periodic table is a display of chemical elements that are known to scientists. Each element is given a different name based on how many protons it has. Protons are positively-charged, subatomic particles that are located in the nucleus of the atom Electrons, on the other hand, are negatively-charged, subatomic particles that are spread around the nucleus. So, as every element has a different number of protons there must be a way to tell how many just from looking at the periodic table, right? And yes, there is, let’s take carbon as an example:   

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The number above the element symbol is the number of protons, which for carbon is 6. Below the element symbol, there is a decimal number called the atomic mass number, which is covered in a different section. It is the number of protons and neutrons in the element combined. Neutrons are another subatomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom but they have a neutral charge. To get the number of neutrons in carbon, we can subtract the number of protons in carbon from the atomic mass number: 12 – 6 = 6 neutrons. To determine the number of electrons, for an element that has a neutral charge, we just need the number of protons, as the number of electrons = the number of protons in a neutrally charged atom.