The three main particles that make up all atoms are protons, electrons, and neutrons. Protons are positively charged particles that provide the type of element that the particle is. For instance, 8 protons would be oxygen, 6 would be carbon. Electrons counteract the electrostatic charge of an atom, and thus are negatively charged. An absence or excess of electrons is what causes ions (positively and negatively charged atoms). Neutrons are neutrally charged (have no charge), and allow for different isotopes in elements. Isotopes are different samples of an element that have different mass. Protons and neutrons have an atomic mass of 1, and electrons have almost no mass.
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