Atoms, Ions and Molecules. What’s the Difference?


When you view an atom, the first question you might ask is ‘what kind of atom is it?’ What you are really asking is ‘which element am I looking at?’ You can answer this by counting the number of protons in the atom. The number of protons, neutrons and electrons is the same in a neutral atom- that is, an atom with no charge. So, in a regular Calcium atom, there are 20 protons, 20 neutrons and 20 electrons. The electrons orbit around the nucleus and have a negative charge.  An isotope is a version of the element with a different number of neutrons. Read More →