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QUESTION

How do you define atomic number?

The , Z, is the number of massive, positively charged NUCLEAR particles.

And Z defines elemental identity. Z=1, hydrogen, Z=2, helium, Z=3, lithium,...............Z=46, palladium.

Note that the nucleus will also contain differing numbers of neutrons, massive, neutrally charged nuclear particles. This gives rise to the existence of . For most hydrogen nuclei, the is "1 amu", which we would denote by ""^1H. Some few hydrogen nuclei contain a neutron to give ""^2H, the deuterium isotope, and some fewer number contain 2 neutrons to give ""^3H, the tritium isotope. Most of the possess a few isotopes.