ASVAB Physical Science Drill 1, Problem 4. An atom has three protons, three electrons, and four neutrons. What is the charge of the atom?
|ASVAB||ASVAB Physical Science|
|ASVAB Science||Physical Science|
An atom has three protons, three electrons, and four neutrons.
Three, three, four. What is the charge on the atom?
And here are the potential answers.
[ mumbles ]
Well, figuring out the answer here comes down to basic addition
and subtraction. We just need a quick review.
We've got protons, which carry positive charges.
There are electrons, which carry negative charges.
And there are neutrons, which are particles without a charge.
In our question here, we've got three protons, three electrons, and four neutrons.
Now, it doesn't matter how many neutrons there are in the atom
because neutrons have no charge.
They're the unambitious slackers of the subatomic world.
All we have to do is think of a proton as one
and an electron as a negative one.
So if we take positive three and add it
to negative three, well, we get zero, making option B the correct choice.
And it's important to remember that neutrons don't affect the charge of an atom.
Only the protons and electrons do.
If there are more protons than electrons, well, the atom will have a positive charge.
If there are more electrons than protons, it'll have a negative charge. Duh.
And if there's the same number of each, then we've got
a neutral atom with no charge, like the one in our question and Switzerland.
And if we need to count using our fingers,
we'll go ahead and do it. It's nice; it makes us feel young again.