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Isotopes

Isotopes  

Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have a different number of neutrons.  Therefore, isotopes have the following characteristics:

  1. Isotopes have the same atomic number (same number of protons), but a different atomic mass number (a different number of neutrons).
  2. Isotopes behave the same chemically, because they are the same element.  The only difference is that one is heavier than the other, because of the additional neutrons.

For example, carbon-12 and carbon-14 are both isotopes of carbon.  Carbon-12 has 6 neutrons; carbon-14 has 8 neutrons.

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