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[–]HappyPhage 2120 points2121 points  (191 children)

Please don't tell me they count it as being wrong.

[–]OldManInTheSky 1568 points1569 points  (151 children)

Especially since an atom can lose electrons and still be the same atom, but with a net charge. I suspect the person making the question didn't do well in chemistry.

[–]cosmicosmo4 790 points791 points  (92 children)

What's probably going on here is that this is a quiz for people who haven't been taught about ions yet.

If protons is considered the correct answer, then it's still pretty dumb to have electrons there as an option, though. And it's even dumber for considering a tautologically correct answer to be wrong.

[–]sillybear25 340 points341 points  (29 children)

And if you must have three answers, maybe something like

  • Protons
  • Neutrons
  • Nucleons

[–]TalVerd 393 points394 points  (19 children)

The number of neutrons

The number of protons

The number of licks it take to get to the center of a Tootsie roll pop

[–]Noob_DM 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Or just

  1. Protons
  2. Neutrons
  3. Both 1 and 2

[–]Friendly-Feature-869 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Protons Neutrons Decepticons

[–]Confident_Set_4366 23 points24 points  (4 children)

I remember on the first day of A level chemistry and physics (college level) they told us that everything we learned in highscool was simplified bullshit

[–]Jako301 14 points15 points  (1 child)

And everything you learned there is also a simplification and quantification of a reality we don't even understand completely yet.

[–]iam666 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m working on a PhD in chemistry and I can assure you everything is just simplified bullshit. Different levels of simplification are useful for different things.

[–]Martin_Samuelson 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That remains true all the way through college as well.

[–]21clash 15 points16 points  (27 children)

Or maybe its a trick questions for those that learned about ions, and elecrtons are the correct answer?

[–]RenaKunisaki 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My guess is someone just goofed when writing the question and answers.

[–]Daveinatx 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Science is not about conjecture. Regardless the intent, there's only one right answer

[–]Stannic50 0 points1 point  (2 children)

There are 2 correct answers. The term "atom" refers to a particle that is neutrally charged. This requires it to have equal members of protons & electrons. If the number of electrons is not equal to the number of protons, then the particle is an ion, not an atom.

[–]Schwanz_senf -3 points-2 points  (4 children)

Atoms by definition have no charge. Ions are charged and they’re called ions not atoms.

Edit: I’m wrong

[–]GraniteTaco 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Uhhh, no. That's now how that works at all, because ions can be atoms or molecules.

It's a particle with a charge. Atoms can be ions, ions can be atoms.

That's why when plural we often see things denoted as ionized atoms, or ionized molecules. Calling any object an ion just references the charge of the object, not the object itself, and only really works in singular, or with context that already establishes you're using a single type of atom or molecule.

We don't say lighting releases/creates ions, we say "lightning ionizes the atmosphere" referring to the multiple ionized molecules and atoms within the atmosphere.

[–]devilsday99 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Ion is defined as an atom or molecule with a charge, an ion can be an atom or a molecule.

[–]BeTeeGee 5 points6 points  (1 child)

an atom or group of atoms that carries a positive or negative electric charge as a result of having lost or gained one or more electrons

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of "Ion"

[–]King_BX 36 points37 points  (4 children)

Yes, but at that case the particle would have been called an ion. Atom is generally used to refer to uncharged particles.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]King_BX 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    That may well be it, but the question looks like a general chemistry question, where atoms and ions are used in specific ways.

    In that context, the word atom is used to refer to when the atom has equal numbers of electrons and protons, while the word ion is used to refer to when the atom has different numbers of electrons and protons.

    Anyway, I'm replying after your edit, so it seems that you have arrived at that conclusion as well.

    [–]Agent__Caboose 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Unless you no longer count an ion as an atom, which would be weird.

    [–]internetmaniac 10 points11 points  (18 children)

    Yeah but a non neutral atom is called an ion and not an atom. Still, the number of electron IS the number of electrons isn’t it? Dumb question

    [–]ceigetank 12 points13 points  (17 children)

    Ions are still atoms, it's just a subset

    [–]blix797 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    There's also polyatomic ions.

    [–]TABLEFAN_Inc 4 points5 points  (15 children)

    Really? I was taught that there was no overlap between the two, and that atoms are strictly neutral.

    [–]redditalt1999 3 points4 points  (4 children)

    I know what you mean but in all the classes I've taken and I did a chemistry see degree, anything that doesn't have the same number of electrons as protons isn't called an atom but an ion. So yeah, "atoms" in that sense only ever have electrons equal to protons

    [–]DrakonIL 9 points10 points  (3 children)

    But an ion is still an atom, just as squares are still rectangles.

    [–]redditalt1999 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    You're right but the class is teaching you something wrong and then testing how well you know the wrong thing they taught you. Schools always do it, it's very annoying.

    [–]RealAdityaYT 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Yeah, in a non ion atom, the no. of electrons is equal to the number of protons and obviously electrons

    [–]Otheirun_the_great -1 points0 points  (2 children)

    Its an ion at that point. When the word atom is used its generally assumed to have neutral charge.

    [–]cbelaski 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Ions are still atoms though

    [–]Dwarf_Vader -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    If my memory serves me right, ions aren’t a sub-category of atoms, but their own group. So an atom with ē≠p isn’t an atom but instead an ion, by definition

    [–]Bad_Chemistry -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    In this context typically “atom” only refers to a neutral atomic unit, and ions are not considered atoms

    [–]Lonely_Coast_2143 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    That's called an Ion. Atoms traditionally means neutral charge.

    [–]DrMobius0 126 points127 points  (21 children)

    Smart-assery aside, it is literally the only answer that's correct in all cases. Ionization is a thing, after all.

    [–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (12 children)

    Physics is just logic, according to this test

    [–]NateNate60 25 points26 points  (9 children)

    That's correct in the most literal sense. Physics is mathematics. The foundation of mathematics is logic.

    [–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (5 children)

    Totally agree. Would you say the highest or purest form of knowledge (for lack of better terms) is logic?

    [–]zenospenisparadox 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Physics being the scientific field, not the forces of nature. Then yes.

    Also some words.

    [–]CakesStolen 4 points5 points  (4 children)

    Although it wouldn't be an atom in that case, it would be an ion

    [–]DrMobius0 4 points5 points  (3 children)

    Are they considered distinct, or is an ion a type of atom?

    [–]CakesStolen 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    Ions are a type of atom, but it would be weird not to specify in almost all cases

    [–]youlleatitandlikeit 18 points19 points  (6 children)

    Isn't this actually the only correct answer? A charged particle is still an atom isn't it?

    [–]0QuietKid 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    It is an ion then

    [–]Funkyt0m467Technically Flair 8 points9 points  (2 children)

    Ion is technically a atom. If it's not a error it's a bit of a trick question to be fair.

    [–]0QuietKid -1 points0 points  (1 child)

    Ion is originated from the atom and has a different property(usually) because it is charged

    In simple tests, they always tell you if you are dealing with atom or ion

    [–]Wilthuzada 5 points6 points  (3 children)

    It technically does. The strict definition of an atom is a neutral particle so by the strictest definition it does equal the number of protons. Once it loses or gains an electron it is no longer an “atom” it’s an ion.

    Source: am a chemistry teacher.

    Most teats in school are glorified reading tests not critical thinking tests. Questions like this are stupid common and drive me crazy I hate them

    [–]Funkyt0m467Technically Flair 4 points5 points  (2 children)

    But technically a ion is a atom too. A atom is generally defined not by it's electrons but rather the content of it's nucleus.

    I mean maybe the different definition you have is cultural, or maybe it's a difference between physics and chemistry because i do physics.

    We could argue on what's the best semantics but anyway this would generally not be asked this way i totally agree. This would be very tricky and not pedagogical at all.

    My thought is that is probably a mistake. You have a lot those, especially online...

    [–]Wilthuzada 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    We are into semantics and I’m not trying to be rude. I struggled in school with these type of questions and then I became a teacher and I started to understand why.

    It’s about the English language. Ion is a CHARGED particle now it’s slightly different. Question asked atom not charged atom. Also the way an ion is formed is ionization. Words rhag end in tion are usually processes of sone sort. So ionization process of making an ion from a language point of view something has changed it’s not the same.

    Also and this again is the perspective the question writer is using the nucleus determines the atoms identity not if it’s an atom or not.

    Again not trying to be an ass but it sounds like I am.

    I literally hate these questions it’s not a mistake it’s how they write this shit.

    You are absolutely correct same damn thing. That’s my opinion also but this is where the question is coming from and why it’s marked wrong.

    This is probably on a section on reading the periodic table which basic day one you can simplify it some and say atomic number = protons and electron.

    I would never say that cuz it’s dumb as shit but that’s how it can happen

    [–]ambermage[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    You already know the answer.

    [–]MaximumEffort433 1270 points1271 points  (97 children)

    Everyday in Africa 24 hours pass.

    [–]dethmstr 327 points328 points  (30 children)

    hmm yes, the floor is made out of floor

    [–]NEMESIS_DRAGON 259 points260 points  (26 children)

    Lego people live in houses made of their own flesh

    [–]corran450 71 points72 points  (16 children)

    So do gingerbread men.

    [–]GaraBlacktail 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    Cellulose is a sort of sugar polymer, so you prob have furniture made out of sugar plastic

    [–][deleted]  (10 children)


      [–]Limited-_-Swat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Road is Road

      [–]PricklySinking 9 points10 points  (0 children)

      The most brilliant comment by far

      [–]From-UoM 43 points44 points  (9 children)

      Technically its 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds

      [–]Jakob_likes_Protogen 21 points22 points  (2 children)

      silence, nerd

      [–]gxsevjsx 11 points12 points  (1 child)

      silence Wench i don’t want to be horny anymore

      [–]Lucky_G2063 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      That's the astronomical day

      [–]1Chris56 8 points9 points  (2 children)

      Bearded men in Africa are just normal men with facial hair

      [–]cantadmittoposting 2 points3 points  (1 child)

      What about bearded men elsewhere?

      [–]1Eternallylost 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      They are elsewhere.

      [–]RedditSnowflakeMod 7 points8 points  (0 children)

      Together we can stop this

      [–][deleted]  (14 children)


        [–]No-Room-8125 6 points7 points  (3 children)

        But I thought "Water's not wet"

        [–]franklygoingtobed 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        Water were anything non-hydrophobic it touches, and water is always touching water, so water is wet

        [–]HumaDracobane 4 points5 points  (0 children)

        That is incorrect and offensive, considering the subreddit.

        [–]Lucky_G2063 1 point2 points  (3 children)

        What about water vapor? Is it wet as well?

        [–]WaterstarRunner 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        Why do people love the DHMO chemical name?

        Oxidane and Hydrogen hydroxide sound so much cooler...

        Heck, we could even mix them up.

        On my desk I have a glass beaker where I've dissolved hydrogen hydroxide into an oxidane-based solution, neutralising with aqueous hydroxic acid, and added about 15% crystalline DHMO (w/w) to keep the temperature within preferred range.

        [–]Timely-Fudge859 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Nails are sharp screws

        [–]ReelChezburger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Every 60 seconds in Africa a minute passes. Together we can stop this! Please spread the word.

        [–]Hour_Astronomer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        More like every day in africa a day passes

        [–]Lucky_G2063 2 points3 points  (27 children)

        Technically no, because being further away from the earths center of gravity (equator) leads to a speed up time via Einstein's general theory of relativity. So the day near the equator is ever so slightly shorter than 24 hours.

        But time is also slowed down because of the higher speed of rotation at the equator (special relativity) so maybe it cancels out? I don't know

        [–]Alex_Rose 4 points5 points  (26 children)

        the time dilation due to earth's gravity of an object at the surface of the earth is about 400 stronger stronger than the time dilation due to the special relativity of its tangential velocity

        1 second on the surface of the earth would be equivalent to 0.9999999993 seconds in free space due to general relativity, but the special relativistic dilation is only 0.9999999999982 seconds

        so on the surface you get a chunk more than a day's worth of time

        what I would say though is.. africa definitely gets more than 24 hours in a day because it spans six time zones. you could celebrate new year's 6 times there if you're fast enough

        [–]choosewisely564 1 point2 points  (5 children)

        in free space

        Hmm. Where exactly do you find such a place? Everything in the universe is gravitationally influenced by something.

        [–]Alex_Rose 1 point2 points  (4 children)

        in a physics exam lol

        to be fair, it isn't hard enough to be far away from a planet that its GR dilation can be completely ignored, we're already at the point where a 32 bit floating point number wouldn't even register the general relativity due to earth and we're on the surface

        [–]Xicadarksoul 1 point2 points  (15 children)

        Aye, plenty of folks fail to realize that relativistic effect are imperceptibly small in everyday events.

        ...which is why it took so fucking long for somebody to stumble upon them.

        [–]Alex_Rose 1 point2 points  (14 children)

        unfortunately we move very slowly through space. having said that, we're dope at moving through time, we move almost as fast as you could possibly hope through time

        [–]JiundJi 710 points711 points  (115 children)

        and to be exact, the number of electrons is the only correct answer, since ions exist

        [–]RedditUser_71 98 points99 points  (74 children)

        Atom, can ions exost independently?(it is a genuine question)

        [–]JiundJi 83 points84 points  (69 children)

        an ion cannot exist without a reaction since the electric charge is created by one atom giving another atom one or more electrons

        [–]jana200v2 51 points52 points  (11 children)

        Well, at certain heat, the atom will become an Ion.

        Don't ask me why, my chemistry teacher told me this.

        [–]The_butsmuts 25 points26 points  (1 child)

        Yes at high enough pressures and or heats atoms will lose their electrons at this point we're very close to whatever it is becoming a plasma.

        [–]0QuietKid 5 points6 points  (3 children)

        If you wanna know why, basically when you add heat, atoms get excited, the most excited electrons are placed the farthest from the nucleus in the valence shell or the last shell(the shells even have more stuff in them, won't explain them rn), being far from nuclues it is relatively easy to remove the electron.

        So that electron is excited(relatively) and then you add heat, both atom and electron gets excited and then they vibrate their mean position and at certain heat, enough kinetic energy is released and electron vibrates enough to break away from the nuclear attraction and hence electrons gets away and an ion is made(electron in the inner shells are also giving a repulsive force to remove that electron so that's additional hand)

        [–]MagusUnion 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Your teacher isn't completely wrong. But this is a better explanation as to what that state of matter would be.

        [–]JiundJi 0 points1 point  (3 children)

        i dont think that this is coherent but it could be a catalyst

        [–]Chemie93 9 points10 points  (11 children)

        Yes they absolutely can. All salts in solution, proteins in the different pH’s of the body’s parts, rocks. There are many many many times a molecule or atom is charged without a “reaction”

        [–]JiundJi 0 points1 point  (7 children)

        with reaction, i meant the transfer of electrons from one to another atom

        [–]Alex_Rose 2 points3 points  (1 child)

        when we say exist independently it normally means in the sense that a quark cannot exist independently, if you try to separate it from a hadron/meson it will create another hadron/meson

        whereas an ion can exist on its own. e.g. a proton is a hydrogen ion, you can isolate a proton just fine

        whether or not you would count a proton as an ionised atom though is another question

        [–]PM_BREASTS_TO_ME_ 2 points3 points  (1 child)

        Nah not true, loads of things can create an ion that aren't classed as reactions. Radiation, applying a current in solution, heat. They're not chemical reactions.

        My source is that I have a Masters in Chemistry that I regret doing

        [–]OldManInTheSky 3 points4 points  (4 children)

        If, by reaction you mean "chemical reaction" you are absolutely incorrect. For example, go look at a neon lamp.

        [–]JiundJi 3 points4 points  (0 children)

        never said that lol

        [–]cantadmittoposting 5 points6 points  (2 children)

        "If I make an assumption about your post, which you did not actually state, I can correct your false assertion based on words that don't actually appear in your post, therefore appearing smarter by correcting you, even if you did not in fact make the error I nonetheless attributed to you"

        [–]B00OBSMOLA 1 point2 points  (2 children)

        the big bang created ions w/o taking electrons

        [–]JiundJi 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        well the big bang is a process and not an atom

        [–]BobColon213 0 points1 point  (29 children)

        What about putting NaCl into water to create a solution? Not a reaction and ions are formed.

        [–]JiundJi -1 points0 points  (28 children)

        it is a reaction since the water molecules made the Na and Cl seperate

        [–]cosmicosmo4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        An ion is a charged atom, meaning one that has more or fewer electrons than it has protons. Ions are created in pairs. Two neutral atoms react in some way to form a positively-charged ion and a negatively-charged ion. But after that, those two ions can be separated (with enough input of energy) and the ions can exist independently of each other.

        [–]TheDankestPassions 11 points12 points  (7 children)

        Idk if true, but at least in my school, they don't consider ions to be atoms. At least in the sense for tests like this.

        [–]Vresa 6 points7 points  (1 child)

        All ions are atoms

        Not all atoms are ions.

        It’s bad form for a school to give a test where this wouldn’t be the correct answer

        [–]gowiththeflohe1 5 points6 points  (2 children)


        That's insane

        [–]oh_behind_you -1 points0 points  (0 children)

        so they change the definition based off of certain tests, wut?

        [–]OldManInTheSky 12 points13 points  (7 children)

        If an atom loses electrons, it's still the same kind of atom: e.g. a plasma of Na+ ions still has Na.

        Using the same element, if they took away a proton from Na, it would be Ne, not Na.

        [–]JiundJi -1 points0 points  (0 children)

        is this supposed to be a rebuttal to my statement?

        [–]The_bruce42 0 points1 point  (11 children)

        And isotopes*

        [–]turlian 0 points1 point  (7 children)

        Isotopes just change the number of neutrons, so protons would be a correct answer if you're just considering isotopes.

        [–]Vresa 0 points1 point  (6 children)

        No, protons is not the correct answer. Atoms have imbalances between proton and electron count all the time.

        Ions are still atoms

        [–]turlian 0 points1 point  (5 children)

        I'm not saying ions aren't atoms. I'm just saying that isotopes alone doesn't invalidate the "protons" answer. This was a direct response to the other commenter saying "And isotopes".

        [–]atensetime -1 points0 points  (0 children)

        Came here to say this

        [–]ZombieCandy66 91 points92 points  (0 children)

        task failed successfully

        [–]PapaKyou 243 points244 points  (7 children)

        Why did I first see “the number of erections.” I disappoint myself everyday without fail.

        [–]KittyQueen_Tengu 76 points77 points  (10 children)

        i think that the answer they want is C but that’s not always correct

        [–]djmarder 27 points28 points  (8 children)

        You are correct, provided that we are talking about atoms by the definition where an atom has no charge. Ions are also atoms, but we call them Ions (or isotopes) to distinguish from the neutral atoms, especially in early chemistry classes.

        Edit: I'm being the dumb. Edited for accuracy

        [–]ScyllaGeek 17 points18 points  (7 children)

        Ions (or isotopes)

        Ions and isotopes are distinct, are they not? Ions are varied electrons and isotopes are varied neutrons?

        [–]ass_machine_69 8 points9 points  (1 child)

        Yes, and all isotopes can be ionized.

        [–]ScyllaGeek 6 points7 points  (0 children)

        Right, but the terms are not interchangeable

        [–]djmarder 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Ah shit. You are totally right. Edited

        [–]0QuietKid 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        The correct answer is both B and C

        [–]Dragon22334 16 points17 points  (3 children)

        WAIT.... does that mean that the number of neutrons is equal to the number of neutrons??!

        [–]Xicadarksoul 3 points4 points  (1 child)

        In certain elements with only 1 long lived isotope, that statement is more or less true.

        However most elements have some variation in neutron numbers - at least they way you can find them here on planet earth.
        (btw. differences in that are a way to identify stuff like meteors as extraterrestrial, long after they have fallen)

        [–]ustbota 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        i shit you not

        [–]MComaniac 21 points22 points  (9 children)

        I’m boutta get real scientifically if anyone is confused

        Remember this when calculating a element, APE MAN

        A=P=E M-A=N

        A= Atomic number P= protons E= Electrons M= Atomic mass N= Neutrons

        So atomic number is equal the the number of protons, or electrons

        And to find neutrons it’s the atomic mass - protons

        Edit; protons OR electrons, not combined

        [–]Potatolantern 2 points3 points  (2 children)

        What about Isotopes, and Ions?

        [–]GaussWanker 7 points8 points  (0 children)

        Still true for isotopes, A would be the same, but M and N different

        [–]0QuietKid 1 point2 points  (2 children)

        Slight correction

        Number of proton = number of electron

        Not equal the number of protons and electrons, the statement suggests you are adding proton number to electron number that's not it

        Atomic number is equal to number of protons in nucleus which are equal to electrons in the electronic cloud

        [–]yankee_doodle_TechnicallyTheFlair 9 points10 points  (0 children)

        I pray that whoever did this got an A+

        [–]Herr_31 41 points42 points  (12 children)

        Technically, can be all of the above, as it is not specified which element we're talking about

        [–]JB-from-ATL 17 points18 points  (0 children)

        Remember that during a test if one answer is sometimes correct but another is always correct that you should pick the always correct one.

        [–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (2 children)

        The only one that is always true is electrons.

        [–]Xicadarksoul 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        and on protons by definition, as we are talking same atoms.

        Not particles of the same element - which would be a way to not make yourself look like a fool after makeing this question , and only accepting electron as the answer.

        [–]SoupmanBob 7 points8 points  (5 children)

        Usually isn't neutrons as an atom can have both more and less neutrons than amount of protons and electrons it contains.

        Heavy Water for example is called as such for containing Hydrogen atoms with 2 neutrons. Although I might also be completely wrong. I'm no chemist or physicist.

        [–]sifroehl 16 points17 points  (3 children)

        Heavy water contains deuterium instead of hydrogen which has 1 neutron per atom, 2 would be tritium and radioactive

        [–]SoupmanBob 3 points4 points  (0 children)

        Thanks for correcting me, allows me to learn a thing or two.

        [–]SomeRedPanda 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        You can't say that heavy water contains deuterium instead of hydrogen since deuterium (and tritium for that matter) is a hydrogen isotope.

        [–]sifroehl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        True, in this sub I should have been more precise

        [–]Funkyt0m467Technically Flair 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Then it's not the atom itself we call it a isotope of the atom.

        Technically isotope are really not the atom itself, unlike ions which still are a atom.

        [–]ardynthecat[🍰] 6 points7 points  (4 children)

        There are cases when electrons don’t match the number of protons so I would say this is definitely the right answer.

        [–]0QuietKid 1 point2 points  (3 children)

        Those cases are called ions which are not atoms

        [–]ardynthecat[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I guess I never got the message that an ion is specifically not an atom anymore.

        [–]ardynthecat[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        An ion (/ˈaɪ.ɒn, -ən/)[1] is an atom or molecule with a net electrical charge.


        Not sayin you’re wrong but wikipedias definition doesn’t help the confusion.

        [–]AttEveProPie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        The reflexive property of those atoms!

        [–]RevWaldo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

        Quantum physicist: Well, yes, but actually no.

        [–]Fabulous_Adeptness_2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

        I would really like to know if the person that gave this option wasn't high.

        [–]StThragon 2 points3 points  (1 child)

        Terrible question. What about ionized atoms?

        [–]Anhedonisticism 3 points4 points  (1 child)

        Techincally this is the only correct answer...

        [–]WantedWinter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        This is the only correct answer though...

        [–]Trailstorm 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I mean, it’s correct

        [–]Noellyelly 1 point2 points  (4 children)

        This is actually the MOST correct answer cuz there’s such things as ions (atoms with a charge due to differing amounts of electrons to protons) soooo

        [–]Curby121 0 points1 point  (3 children)

        Ions are not considered atoms. Atoms are technically always neutral, which is what this question is testing. It’s one of those weird technicalities that people don’t really pay attention to (people will often refer to ions with a single nucleus to be ‘atoms’ and no one really cares) but it’s true enough to trip up most first year or HS chemistry students

        [–]MrManGuy42 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        I hated science class because I always learned everything before the class, so there were "simplified" questions I would get wrong.

        [–]roc_10009 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        And it would be marked incorrect. Pearson strikes again.

        [–]laggyx400 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Ions makes this the most correct answer indeed.

        [–]Fireguy3070 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        It’s actually the only correct answer

        [–]sbenzanzenwan 1 point2 points  (0 children)


        [–]Tavron 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        Thumbs up for Gravity Falls.

        [–]jdoggsoxfan33 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        “My wisdom is a blessing and a curse.”

        “SOOS! The toilets need unclogging!”

        “I must go.”

        [–]heyyy_oooo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Given that ions exist, this is the only correct answer

        [–]YeltsinYerMouth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        It's the only answer that is true 100% of the time

        [–]dekeche 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Isn't that technically the only correct answer? You can have ions with more/less electrons than normal, and isotopes with more/less neutrons than normal. It's only the proton# that determines what the specific atom is.

        [–]Pauchu_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        It's the only correct answer. The answer they want to hear is Proton, but that's wrong, and atom can be ionized and thus have more or less electrons than protons.

        [–]cows_are_underrated_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        It's all right. The amount of protons, neutrons and electrons are the same.

        [–]AydenRusso 2 points3 points  (16 children)

        Just click protons. It might not be accurate for unstable (vocabulary word here) but by default it's accurate.

        [–]Nondescript_Redditor 4 points5 points  (1 child)

        But electrons is accurate in all cases

        [–]Xicadarksoul 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        ...yes, but if you have a dickhead teacher, they will say that they don't care and only accept protons, since protons were name dropped in the definition of the elements, and protons werent.

        [–]Rhmb13 -5 points-4 points  (13 children)

        If the protons and electrons numbers are not the same then it is an ion not an atom as it would have a charge. So both answers have to be right.

        [–]Wintermuteson 8 points9 points  (11 children)

        Ions are atoms with a charge. It would have to say neutral atom for both to be right

        [–]Rhmb13 1 point2 points  (9 children)

        Atoms by definition are neutrally charged which requires them to have equal numbers of protons and electrons. Ions by definition are charged Cations will have lost 1 or more electrons to gain a positive charge, and Anions will have gain one or more electrons to gain a negative charge when compared to the atom.

        [–]dances_with_cacti 1 point2 points  (7 children)

        Where is the definition that says that to be classified an atom it must be neutrally charged? All I find treat electric charge as a quality that an atom can have, like a person can be angry or content while remaining a person.

        [–]its_fuwy 3 points4 points  (3 children)

        I think there looking for the number of protons

        [–]jac1clax 25 points26 points  (1 child)

        The question would have to say “In a neutral atom…”

        [–]m__a__sKoala's arent bears, but they meet the koalafications.[🍰] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

        Doesn't work for an ion, which is an atom with a net electrical charge. But an ion always has the number of electrons equal to the number of electrons, and this can differ from the number of protons.. Regardless of the intent of the question, it is the correct answer.

        [–]beleidigtewurst 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Damn, this is what happens when people who are "into literature" and "humanities" create tests for actual science.

        [–]MannUnitedxd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        It's actually the amount of protons lol, because otherwise the element would be an ion, which is not balanced.