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What is a material that contains only one type of atom?

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Quick Answer

A material that contains only one type of atom is called an element. There are 98 elements known to occur naturally, along with another 20 that have been synthesized in laboratories, as of 2015. Hydrogen, the lightest element, is also the most abundant chemical substance in the universe.

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Full Answer

A substance made from two or more elements is called a compound. Compounds consist of chemically bonded atoms in a fixed ratio. For example, water is always made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. Matter often occurs as a mixture of various compounds and elements, such as air, which is comprised of more than a dozen different elements and compounds.

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  • Q:

    What substance is made up of only one kind of atom?

    A:

    Any substance that contains only one type of atom is referred to as an element. Elements comprise the essential components of all structures everywhere in the universe. This could be something as small as a bacteria or as massive as a star.

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  • Q:

    What is the atomic mass of an element?

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    Atomic mass of an element is the average weight of the components that make up an atom. An atom is composed of protons, neutrons and electrons.

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  • Q:

    How do you find the mass number?

    A:

    To find the mass number of an element or isotope, add the neutrons and protons in one atom. Hydrogen is just one element with multiple isotopes occurring naturally, appearing in atomic form with just one proton (mass number 1), and two isotopes, one with one neutron and another with two.

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  • Q:

    How many valence electrons does sulfur have?

    A:

    Sulfur has six valence electrons, meaning that each atom of this element has six electrons in its outermost shell. The number of valence electrons that each element has can be predicted based on its location on the periodic table, though this only applies to neutral atoms. An element's main group number indicates how many valence electrons each atom of that element will have, and because sulfur is part of group six on the periodic table, this indicates that this element has six electrons in its outermost electron "shell."

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