Question Video: Determining the Charge of an Atomic Nucleus Given the Number of Neutrons and up Quarks It Contains | Nagwa Question Video: Determining the Charge of an Atomic Nucleus Given the Number of Neutrons and up Quarks It Contains | Nagwa

Question Video: Determining the Charge of an Atomic Nucleus Given the Number of Neutrons and up Quarks It Contains Chemistry • First Year of Secondary School

An atomic nucleus contains 4 neutrons and a total of 10 up quarks. What charge does the nucleus have?

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Video Transcript

An atomic nucleus contains four neutrons and a total of 10 up quarks. What charge does the nucleus have?

Atomic nuclei, like this helium-4 nucleus, consist of positively charged protons and neutral neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composed of smaller subatomic particles called quarks. There are six different types or flavors of quark that each contain a fractional electric charge. A proton is composed of two up quarks and one down quark. A neutron is composed of two down quarks and one up quark. We can use the quark composition of protons and neutrons to answer the question.

We are told in the question that an atomic nucleus contains four neutrons. We are also told in the question that the nucleus contains a total of 10 up quarks. The four neutrons contain a total of four up quarks. So there are six up quarks that are unaccounted for. These up quarks must be found in protons. A proton contains two up quarks. This means that the atomic nucleus must contain three protons.

We want to know what charge this atomic nucleus has. We know that neutrons are electrically neutral and protons are positively charged. As this nucleus contains three protons, it should have a charge of three plus. Therefore, the charge of an atomic nucleus that contains four neutrons and a total of 10 up quarks is three plus.

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