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.

## Related Questions

• A:

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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• A:

The atomic number of an atom is the number of protons that resides in the nucleus, while the mass number is the number of protons and neutrons combined. The atomic number determines the type of element an atom, while the number of neutrons determines the isotope of the element. Many elements naturally occur in the form of several different isotopes.

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• A:

The mass of 1 mole of carbon dioxide, which is a gas, is 44.0095 grams per mole. This is called the molar mass, or molecular weight, of carbon dioxide.