Q:

# What is 1/12 the mass of a carbon-12 atom?

A:

The atomic mass unit, or amu, is 1/12 the mass of one atom of carbon-12. An atomic mass unit has the mass of 1/(6.0221415 * 10^23) grams.

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According to HowStuffWorks, an atomic mass unit is defined as the mass of a single proton or neutron. Hydrogen, the lightest element, has an average mass of 1.00794 amu. A carbon-12 atom is made up of six protons and six neutrons, hence 12 atomic mass units. The mass of the electron is considered negligible, therefore electrons are not counted in measuring an atom's atomic mass. One mole of carbon-12 atoms, or 6.0221415 * 10^23 atoms, weighs exactly 12 grams.

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## Related Questions

• A:

The mass number of an element is the mass of one atom of the element, which is the measure of how much matter is in that atom. Mass numbers are calculated by adding the number of protons and neutrons contained in the atom.

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The mass of an atom is referred to as atomic mass. The mass of a molecule may also be referred to as atomic mass but may also be referred to as molecular mass. In either case, atomic mass refers to the average mass of a pure sample.

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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.