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Which of the following correctly identifies the composition of an oxygen atom? A.8 protons, 8 electrons, and 8 neutrons. B.6 protons, 6 electrons, 6 neutrons. C.8 protons, 6 electrons, 7 neutrons. D. 6 protons, 6 electrons and 12 neutrons

James Washington

in Chemistry

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Ramon Kelly on March 2, 2018

You can reply to this question, making the atomic number and the atomic mass of Oxygen from the periodic table. There you will find that the atomic number is 8, which means, by definition, that has 8 protons. This is because the atomic number is defined as the number of protons of an element. Since the atom is neutral, which implies that the atoms have the same number of electrons as protons. So now you know that the atoms of oxygen have 8 protons and 8 electrons. The number of neutrons can vary, which is what defines the isotope. Given that the atomic mass of oxygen is 15.999, which means that most of the atoms of oxygen has 8 neutrons (8 protons and 8 neutrons = 16 atomic mass). But you can not be sure that an atom of oxygen has 8 neutrons, however, given that the other options are discarded (because they do not have 8 protons and 8 electrons), the only correct response is option A. 8 protons, 8 electrons, and 8 neutrons.


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