How to Know If an Element Is an Isotope?

How to Know If an Element Is an Isotope
••• Emilija Randjelovic/iStock/GettyImages

An isotope is an element that has a different amount of neutrons than its standard atomic mass. Some isotopes can be relatively unstable, and thus they can give off radiation as the atom decays. Neutrons are particles with a neutral charge that are found in an atom's nucleus alongside protons. Neutrons help give the atom its mass and structure; on the periodic table of elements, the atomic mass number is the sum of the protons and neutrons.

    Find out how many neutrons the given atom of the element has. This information likely will need to be given; the ability to examine an individual atom is extremely difficult and costly.

    Look up at the atom on the periodic table of elements and find out what its atomic mass is.

    Subtract the number of protons from the atomic mass. This is the number of neutrons that the regular version of the atom has. If the number of neutrons in the given atom is different, than it is an isotope.

Related Articles

How to Calculate Subatomic Particles
How to Find the Mass Number of Bromine With 46 Neutrons
How to Find Isotopes
How to Write an Isotope
How to Find Out If an Element Is an Ion
How to Find Isotope Mass
Characteristics of Aquatic Plants
How to Calculate Particle Concentration
What Is an Unstable Atom?
How to Find the Number of Neutrons, Protons & Electrons...
How to Find the Number of Atoms in an Element
How Many Protons Does Calcium Have?
The Difference Between Atoms, Ions, Molecules and...
What is Atomic Number?
Density Vs. Concentration
How to Determine if a Molecule Is Planar
How to Find the Number of Ions in a Compound
How to Find the Number of Neutrons in an Atom
How to Figure Out Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons
What Does It Tell You if Iron Has an Atomic Number...

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!