BACK TO atomic number
atomic number vs. atomic weight
[ uh-tom-ik nuhm-ber ]
- the number of positive charges or protons in the nucleus of an atom of a given element, and therefore also the number of electrons normally surrounding the nucleus. Abbreviation: at. no.; Symbol: Z
- the average weight of an atom of an element, formerly based on the weight of one hydrogen atom taken as a unit or on 1/16 (0.0625) the weight of an oxygen atom, but after 1961 based on 1/12 the weight of the carbon-12 atom. Abbreviation: at. wt.