atomic-number

Cultural Dictionary

atomic number definition


The number of protons or electrons normally found in an atom of a given chemical element. The higher the atomic number, the heavier the atom is. In a neutral atom, the number of protons and electrons is the same. (See atomic weight and periodic table of the elements.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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