An atom of zinc has an atomic weight of 65.38 atomic mass units, and it has 30 protons and 35 neutrons. Each atomic mass unit is equivalent to 1/12 of the mass of a carbon-12 atom.
Zinc has been used in alloy brass for thousands of years but was only determined to be a unique metal in India in the 1400s. It was rediscovered again in Europe by Andreas Sigismund Marggraf in 1746. Zinc is commonly used as a coating for iron and steel in a process known as galvanization. This process protects the other metals from corrosion. It is also alloyed with lead and tin to make solder, an easily melted metal that joins other metal components together.