7.20 Atomic Nuclei - The Chemical Level

Moving another level up the hierarchy of discernible structure, we reach the association of protons and neutrons into atomic nuclei.

Atomic nuclei are categorized into "types" called “nuclides” or “isotyopes” based on the specific number of protons and neutrons they contain.

A nuclide is characterized by its number of protons, its number of neutrons, and its nuclear energy state.

A nuclide can be thought of as a “species” of Atom.

Each species of atom is the smallest neutral particle of a chemical element.

Species of atoms which correspond to a particular Chemical Element are grouped into Isotopes. An Isotope is a grouping of all species of atoms which correspond to a particular Chemical Element.

Isotopes of a given chemical element have the same number of protons (the “Atomic Number”), but differing numbers of neutrons.

These isotopes are grouped by chemical element in the Periodic Table.

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