Different forms of the same element are called isotopes. Isotopes have the same number of positive particles, called protons, and negative particles, called electrons, but differing numbers of neutrons. Neutrons are neutral particles residing in the nucleus of an atom along with protons.Continue Reading
All elements on the periodic table have isotopes, although some are artificially created. Heavier elements tend to have more isotopes than lighter elements.
Although the characteristics of isotopes of an element are generally the same, their masses differ. The mass of an atom consists of the number of protons and neutrons. Some isotopes of an element are heavier or lighter than others, depending on how many more or fewer neutrons the isotope has.
Some isotopes are stable, and others are unstable. Isotopes that are unstable break down, or decay, into other elements, giving off radiation in the process. This decay process allows the atom to become more stable.Learn more about Atoms & Molecules
All isotopes of a given element must share the same atomic number, which equals the number of protons. An isotope is denoted by its atomic number in the lower left-hand corner next to its chemical symbol and its mass number in the upper left next to the symbol.Full Answer >
Percent abundance describes the prevalence of each of an element's isotopes in nature. The percent abundance of each isotope is used in the calculation of an element's average atomic mass.Full Answer >
Atoms of the same element that have different masses are called isotopes. Different masses result when there are different numbers of neutrons. All atoms of a particular element have the same number of protons.Full Answer >
A radioactive element does not have any stable isotopes, which means it may spontaneously degenerate. Radioactive elements include uranium, curium and thorium.Full Answer >