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# What are number of neutrons in ##H_2SO_4##?

Here's what I got.

I assume that you must determine the number of neutrons present in one molecule of sulfuric acid, ##"H"_2"SO"_4##.

The idea here is that you need to use the to find the of **the atoms** that make up a molecule of sulfuric acid.

As you know, an atom's tells you the number of **protons** and **neutrons** said atom contains in its nucleus. Since the number of protons is always given by the element's , finding the atom's mass number will automatically give you the number of neutrons it has in its nucleus.

So, one molecule of sulfuric acid contains

**two**atoms of hydrogen, ##2 xx "H"##**one**atom of sulfur, ##1 xx "S"##**four**atoms of oxygen, ##4 xx "O"##

Now, pull up a periodic table an write the average atomic weights of these three . You should get

##"For H: " "1.00794 u"##

##"For S: " "32.066 u"##

##"For O: " "15.9994 u"##

As you know, the average atomic weight of an element is determined by taking the weighted average of the atomic weighs of its naturally occurring .

The trick here is to **round these values** to the **nearest integer** - this will give you the mass number of the element's **most abundant isotope**.

In your case, you will have

##"For H: " 1.00794 ~~ 1##

##"For S: " 32.066 ~~ 32##

##"For O: " 15.9994 ~~ 16##

These mass number values will help you estimate how many neutrons you get per molecule of sulfuric acid.

Use

##color(blue)("no. of neutrons" = "mass number" - "atomic number")##

to get

##"For H: " 1 - 1 = "0 neutrons"##

##"For S: " 32 - 16 = "16 neutrons"##

##"For O: " 16 - 8 = "8 neutrons"##

One molecule of sulfuric acid will thus have a total of

##overbrace(2 xx 0)^(color(red)("two atoms of H")) + overbrace(1 xx 16)^(color(blue)("one atom of S")) + overbrace(4 xx 8)^(color(purple)("four atoms of O")) = color(green)("48 neutrons")##