Atomic nucleus The central region of an atom. Atoms are composed of negatively charged electrons, positively charged protons, and electrically neutral neutrons. The protons and neutrons (collectively known as nucleons) are located in a small central region known as the nucleus. The electrons move in orbits which are large in comparison with the dimensions of the nucleus itself. Protons and neutrons possess approximately equal masses, each roughly 1840 times that of an electron. The number of nucleons in a nucleus is given by the mass number A and the number of protons by the atomic number Z. Nuclear radii r are given approximately by r = 1.2 x 10-15 m Al/3.
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