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1.1 Atomic Structure Questions for CCEA Chemistry

Atomic number, Mass number and Isotopes

Section A


For each of the questions only one of the lettered responses (A-D) is correct.


Select the correct response in each case and mark its code letter by connecting the dots as illustrated on the answer sheet.


  1. Which one of the following statements is not true about the atom 8135X?

      A  It has mass number 35

B  It contains 35 electrons

C  It contains 46 neutrons

D  Its nucleus contains 81 particles


  1. Which one of the following statements about electrons is incorrect?

A  They are negatively charged.

B  They have a mass equal to approximately 1/1840 x the mass of the proton.

C  They display both wave and particle properties.

D  They are unaffected by a magnetic field.


  1. Hydrogen has three isotopes, protium with no neutrons, deuterium with one neutron and tritium with two neutrons.In a sample trapped in a meteorite, they are found to occur in the ratio 10: 1: 1. What is the relative atomic mass of the hydrogen in the sample?

A 1.00

B  1.25

C 1.50

D  2.00


  1. The relative atomic mass of an element is

A  the mass of 6 x 1023 atoms of the element

B  the mass of one atom of the element on the scale 126C=12

C  the average of the relative isotopic masses on the scale 126C=12

D  the weighted average of the relative isotopic masses on the scale 126C=12


  1. Which one of the following particles has seven protons, eight neutrons and nine electrons?

87N -

147N 2-

158O -

157N 2-


  1. Atoms with different atomic numbers must have different

A  numbers of protons

B  numbers of neutrons

C  numbers of electrons

D  mass numbers


  1. The atomic number of an element is the number of

A  atoms in one mole

B  electrons in the neutral atom

C  protons plus neutrons in the atom

D  protons plus electrons in the atom

8.         An atom is electrically neutral because

A it contains neutrons

B the electrons are in a state of continuous motion about the nucleus

C it contains equal numbers of electrons and protons

D the nucleus contains both protons and neutrons


9.         An atom which has lost an electron will be

A negatively charged

B neutral

C positively charged

D doubly positively charged


10. The nucleus of 2311Na contains

A 11 protons and 12 electrons

B 11 protons and 12 neutrons

C 12 neutrons and 11 electrons

D 23 protons and 11 electrons


11. The hydrogen atom 11H and the deuterium atom 21H have

A a different number of electrons

B the same relative atomic mass

C a different number of protons

D a different number of neutrons


12. Neon occurs as two isotopes of mass numbers 20 and 22. Its relative atomic mass is 20.2. What is the percentage of20Ne in naturally occurring neon?

A 10

B 20

C 80

D 90


  1. The relative atomic mass of boron is 10.81. The element consists of two isotopes, the nuclei of which contain five and six neutrons respectively. The ratio of the number of lighter atoms to the number of heavier atoms is approximately.

A  1 : 8

B  1 : 4

C  1 : 1

D  4 : 1

E  8 : 1




(a)        Explain what is meant by each of the following terms:

(i)      electron



(ii)     proton



(i)            neutron



(ii)          isotopes




(b)     The atomic number provides three pieces of information about an element. What are they?





(a)     Explain what you understand by the terms:

(i)            Mass number


(ii)          Relative atomic mass



(b)   Calculate the relative atomic mass of copper assuming it to contain 70% of 63Cu and 30% of 65Cu.





  1. Complete the table below:
AtomNumber of protonsNumber of neutronsNumber of electrons



  1. Electrons, protons and neutrons are the constituent particles of the atom.

Their masses based on the carbon- 12 standard are:


proton        1.007580 amu

neutron      1.008980 amu

electron     0.000548 amu

(amu = atomic mass unit)



(a)     Explain the carbon- 12 standard.





(b)          Complete the table showing the relative charges of the particles.



(c)     Deuterium, 2H, is an isotope of hydrogen.

(i)      Define the term isotopes





(ii)     Draw a labelled diagram showing the constituent particles in a deuterium atom.











(iii)  Name the instrumental method used to determine accurate atomic masses.







(iv)    Use the values of the masses of the sub-atomic particles to calculate the mass, in amu, of a deuterium atom.




(v)     The actual mass of a deuterium atom is 2.014102 amu.  Calculate the mass lost, in amu, when the sub-atomic particles fuse together.




(vi)    The mass lost is converted into radiant energy according to Einstein's equation     E = mc2 (m is measured in kilograms and c is the speed of light in m s-1).  Using this equation, together with E = hv, calculate the frequency of the radiation emitted.


(c = 3 x 108 ms-1, 1 amu = 1.66 X 10-27 kg)







5  (a) Explain why 235 92U and 238 92U are regarded as isotopes of uranium.



(b) The natural abundance of the two isotopes of uranium is:

235 92U           0.72%             238 92U  99.28%

Use the values to calculate the relative atomic mass of uranium to two decimal places.




(c) Sketch the mass spectrum (not to scale) of naturally occurring uranium.  Label the axes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [3]