How many protons, neutrons and electrons does Neon have?

Original question: How many neutrons, protons and electrons does Neon possess?

This is a picture showing the periodic table. It includes all known elements. This method can be used to answer similar questions about another element.

Find Neon.

(Hint: Look at the dark yellow column at the right-most end. It’s the second column with “Ne” written in it.

In this example, the little number in the upper-left corner (number 10) indicates the element’s atomic number. This is basically the number of protons it has. Electromagnetic neutral atoms have the same number of protons (1 unit) as electrons (1 unit). We know so far that Neon contains 10 protons, and 10 electrons.

The tricky part is neutrons. There is no single right answer. I will just say that the mass for an atom is the sum of the masses of protons and neutrons. Electrons are too small to count. Consider the mass of all protons and neutrons as being just 1 (amu). In very fine print (20.1797), the number just below “Ne”, is the average mass all of the Neon atoms that we know. As an estimate, some atoms would be 20-pounds and others 21-pounds. You can Google this to find out that Neon is composed of three isotopes: Neon-20 (Neon-21), and Neon-22. These numbers represent the mass of different neon atoms. We know there are 10 protons present in all neons.

Neon-20 would therefore have 10 neutrons (10 prototons + 10 neutrons) to give it a mass of 20

Neon-21 would contain 11 neutrons (10 prototons + 11 neutrons to give a mass 21).

Neon-22 would contain 12 neutrons (10 prototons + 12 neutrons to give a mass 22).

*Isotopes can be thought of as different versions of an atom. This basically means that although the number protons is the same, the number or neutrons may be different. As I have said before, if there are different numbers of protons, you could be talking about an entirely different atom.