How Many Protons Does Sodium Have?

January 18, 2024
David Sunnyside

All matter is made of tiny particles called atoms. Each atom has a nucleus and a cloud of electrons. These electrons are neutral but their nucleus is positively charged because it has protons in it.

The number of protons in an atom of an element is its atomic number, which is found on the periodic table. Sodium is an alkali metal with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. This means it has 11 protons in its nucleus.

Sodium is a soft silvery-white metal with the chemical symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is the most abundant alkali metal and is found in nature in minerals such as cryolite, soda niter, zeolite, and amphibole. Sodium is highly reactive and can form compounds with many other elements and with water. It is an essential mineral for humans and animals.

A sample of an element contains isotopes, or versions of the element with different numbers of neutrons. We know the number of neutrons in a sodium atom by looking at its periodic table entry, which is located above the element’s symbol. Sodium’s atomic number is 11, so it has 11 protons and 23 neutrons in its nucleus.

Since neutrons have no charge, they do not affect the overall electrical charge of an atom. However, protons do carry a positive charge and each one has a mass of 1 atomic mass unit. Therefore, the total mass of an atom is its number of protons plus its number of neutrons.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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