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Mass Number

  • Definition: The total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. For example, nitrogen has 7 protons and 7 neutrons in its nucleus, giving it a mass number of 14. Isotopes of elements are distinguished by their mass number; for example, carbon-12 and carbon-14 have mass numbers of 12 and 14 respectively. See nucleon number.

    Source: The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. Credo Reference. Web. 17 August 2012.

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