What is the charge of a nucleus and how to calculate it?

The nucleus of an atom can contain two elements: protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are made up of small constituents – valence quarks, gluons and sea quarks.

To determine the total electric charge of an atomic nucleus, simply add the number of protons. Since each of them is +1, the number of protons will be equal to the total electric charge. You can neglect the number of neutrons in the nucleus, since they do not contribute to the total electric charge of the nucleus.


Hydrogen – the atomic number is 1, this is one proton (+1).
Helium – the atomic number is 2, these are two protons (+2).
Gold – the atomic number is 79, which is seventy-nine protons (+79).

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