# Why are the number of protons and electrons equal in an atom?

Actually the proton and electron count of an atom are equal only when the atom is neutral in charge. The three atomic particles of an atom are the protons, which carry a positive charge, the electrons which carry a negative charge and the neutrons which have no charge.
A.

### Are number of protons and electrons the same?

The number of protons in the atom of an element determines its place in the periodic table. The number of electrons in an atom is the same as the number of protons. These electrons are arranged in shells or 'energy levels' around the nucleus.
• #### How do you find the number of electrons?

Part 1 Calculating Protons, Electrons, and Neutrons
1. Get a periodic table of elements.
2. Find your element on the periodic table.
3. Locate the element's atomic number.
4. Determine the number of electrons.
5. Look for the atomic mass of the element.
6. Subtract the atomic number from the atomic mass.
• #### Are protons and electrons the same size?

Atoms are made of extremely tiny particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons are in the center of the atom, making up the nucleus. The charge on the proton and electron are exactly the same size but opposite.
• #### How do you tell how many electrons are in an element?

You can simply subtract the atomic number from the mass number in order to find the number of neutrons. If the atom is neutral, the number of electrons will be equal to the number of protons. 1. Your mass number is the total number of neutrons and protons within the atom.
B.

### Do protons always equal neutrons?

The number of electrons in a neutral atom is equal to the number of protons. The mass number of the atom (M) is equal to the sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. The number of neutrons is equal to the difference between the mass number of the atom (M) and the atomic number (Z).
• #### What would happen if you change the number of protons in an atom?

Sometimes, when you add a proton to an element, the element will become radioactive. If you change the number of neutrons in an atom, you get an isotope of the same element. The addition of a neutron can make an atom radioactive. If you change the number of electrons in an atom, you will get an ion of the element.
• #### How electrons are arranged in an atom?

The number of electrons in an atom is the same as the number of protons. These electrons are arranged in shells or 'energy levels' around the nucleus. The arrangement of electrons determines the chemical properties of an element.
• #### Are atoms all the same?

Yes, all things are made of atoms, and all atoms are made of the same three basic particles - protons, neutrons, and electrons. But, all atoms are not the same. You know that the number of protons in an atom determines what element you have. For instance hydrogen has one proton, carbon has six.
C.

### Why are there always equal numbers of protons and electrons in an atom?

When an atom has an equal number of electrons and protons, it has an equal number of negative electric charges (the electrons) and positive electric charges (the protons). The total electric charge of the atom is therefore zero and the atom is said to be neutral.
• #### How big is a proton compared to an electron?

Therefore, a proton has about 1836 times the mass of an electron. The best estimate that I can find is that the radius of a proton is about 88×10-16m and the radius of an electron is about 2.8×10-15m . If they are correct, then a electron has about three times the diameter of a proton.
• #### What happens if an atom has the same number of electrons and protons?

Actually the proton and electron count of an atom are equal only when the atom is neutral in charge. The three atomic particles of an atom are the protons, which carry a positive charge, the electrons which carry a negative charge and the neutrons which have no charge.
• #### How does an atom change if all of its electrons are removed?

When you add electrons to a neutral atom, it is no longer a neutral atom, it has a negative change and is an anion. When you take away electrons from a neutral atom, it is no longer a neutral atom- it becomes a positive atom, and is a cation. The three subatomic particles are protons, electrons, and neutrons.

Updated: 2nd October 2019