In chemistry and physics, a nucleon is one of the particles that makes up the atomic nucleus. each atomic nucleus consists of one or more nucleons, and each atom in turn consists of a cluster of nucleons surrounded by one or more electrons. there are two known kinds of nucleon: the neutron and the proton. the mass number of a given atomic isotope is identical to its number of nucleons. thus the term nucleon number may be used in place of the more common terms mass number or atomic mass number.