Q:

How many protons are in a zinc atom?

A:

Quick Answer

Atoms of zinc all have 30 protons in their nuclei. The proton count of an element is equal to its atomic number, which is listed in the upper-left corner of the element's box on the periodic table of elements.

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Full Answer

Atoms always carry the same number of electrons as they do protons. By definition, an atom must have an overall neutral charge, and each electron's negative charge cancels out the positive charge of a single proton. Zinc, therefore, has 30 electrons as well as 30 protons. The number of neutrons in an atom can vary, and some configurations are more stable than others. Atoms of a single element with different numbers of neutrons are known as isotopes of that element.

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