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Also you will see that the Mass and Atomic Numbers in the equation are equal on both sides of the equation.The atoms that we are particularly interested in are the ones that make up the earth’s atmosphere.Since protons and neutrons weigh about the same, the atomic mass of ordinary carbon is 6 6 = 12.It is called “Carbon-12,” which is abbreviated “C.” The fact that the atom has six protons is what makes it carbon.Most nitrogen atoms have seven protons and seven neutrons, so their atomic mass is 7 7 = 14.The fact that it has seven protons is what makes it nitrogen.To the left side of each C (C is the symbol for Carbon) are two numbers, the bottom number indicates the Atomic Number or the number of protons in the nucleus.
The Mass Number for any isotope is the addition of all the protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
To understand this process we must first understand a little bit about the atoms themselves and how they get their names.
Most carbon atoms have six positively charged protons and six uncharged neutrons.
Looking at the first isotope in the chart, Carbon 9 has 9 (protons neutrons).
Remember that the Atomic Number (the bottom number) indicates the number of protons.