The atomic number is the value given to the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. This value is the same as the charge value of an atom.
The atomic number is represented by the symbol Z, and represents the number of protons in an atom. Each element on the periodic table has a different atomic number, and increases through the periods. The values on the periodic table for atomic numbers increase, beginning at one and increasing values that are more than 100. On the periodic table, the atomic number can be found directly above the symbol for the element, usually in the top-right corner. Atomic numbers are unique to each element, and help to describe the characteristics of the atom.