IntroductionOther basic Atomic ParticlesBeta particles

A common atom is composed of 3 subatomic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons (as watched in the helium atom below). Other particles exist as well, such together alpha and also beta corpuscle (which are discussed below). The Bohr model shows the three simple subatomic particles in a basic manner. Many of one atom"s massive is in the nucleus—a small, thick area in ~ the center of every atom, composed of nucleons. Nucleons encompass protons and also neutrons. All the hopeful charge of an atom is consisted of in the nucleus, and originates from the protons. Neutrons room neutrally-charged. Electrons, which are negatively-charged, room located exterior of the nucleus.

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The Bohr model is outdated, however it depicts the three straightforward subatomic particles in a comprehensible way. Electron clouds are much more accurate depictions of wherein electrons are found. Darker areas represent whereby the electron are much more likely to be found, and also lighter locations represent whereby they are less likely to be found.


ParticleElectric fee (C)Atomic ChargeMass (g)Atomic mass (Au)Spin
Protons +1.6022 x 10-19 +1 1.6726 x 10-24 1.0073 1/2
Neutrons 0 0 1.6740 x 10-24 1.0078 1/2
Electrons -1.6022 x 10-19 -1 9.1094 x 10-28 0.00054858 1/2
Au is the SI symbol for atomic massive unit. The positive charge of proton cancels the an unfavorable charge the the electrons. Neutrons have actually no charge. With regard come mass, protons and also neutrons are very similar, and have a much greater mass 보다 electrons. Contrasted with neutrons and protons, the fixed of an electron is commonly negligible. turn is associated with the rotation of a particle. Protons, neutrons, and electrons each have actually a total spin of 1/2.


Both of the complying with are ideal ways of representing the ingredient of a details atom:


Often the proton number is not indicated since the elemental symbol conveys the same information.

Consider a neutral atom of carbon: \(\ce^12_6C\). The atomic mass number of Carbon is 12 amu, the proton number is 6, and also it has actually no charge. In neutral atoms, the fee is omitted.


Above is the atomic symbol because that helium from the periodic table, v the atomic number, element symbol, and mass indicated.

Every aspect has a specific variety of protons, for this reason the proton number is not constantly written (as in the second method above).

# neutrons = atomic Mass Number - Proton Number atom mass number is abbreviated together A. Proton number(or atomic number) is abbreviation Z. # protons = Proton Number or atom Number In neutral atoms, # electron = # Protons In ions, # electrons = # proton - (Charge) Charge is written with the number before the optimistic or an unfavorable sign Example, 1+

Note: The atom mass number is not the same as the atomic mass watched on the periodic table. Click below for an ext information.

Other basic Atomic Particles

Many of these particles (explained in detail below) space emitted through radioactive decay. Click below for more information. Also note that many forms that radioactive degeneration emit gamma rays, which space not particles.

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Alpha Particles

Alpha particles deserve to be denoted by He2+,α2+, or just α. They room helium nuclei, i m sorry consist of two protons and also two neutrons. The net spin on one alpha bit is zero. They an outcome from large, rough atoms through a procedure called alpha decay. Alpha decay is the procedure by i m sorry an atom emits an alpha particle, thereby becoming a new element. This just occurs in elements with large, radiation nuclei. The smallest noted element the emits alpha particles is facet 52, tellurium. Alpha corpuscle are typically not harmful. They deserve to be easily stopped by a single sheet of paper or by one"s skin. However, they can cause considerable damage to the insides the one"s body. Alpha degeneration is supplied as a for sure power source for radioisotope generators used in artificial heart pacemakers and room probes.

Beta+(β+) or Positron Emission

Position emission occurs when an overfill of protons renders the atom unstable. In this process, a proton is converted into a neutron, a positron, and also a neutrino. If the neutron remains in the nucleus, the positron and also the neutrino room emitted. The positron deserve to be dubbed a beta fragment in this instance. The equation for this process is given below:

\< _1^1\textrmp^+ \rightarrow _1^0\textrmn + \textrme^+ + \nu_e \>

n = spirit p+ = Proton e+ = Positron (beta particle) νe = Neutrino

β+ Decay