Some important points regarding isotopes: Isotopes of an element have the same a proton number. Isotopes of an element have different a nucleon numbers. However, these differences are very small. Superficial cancers such as skin cancer can be treated by less penetrating radiation from phosphorus or strontium

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Also, there are variations within the same elements. Isotopes are examples for differences within a single element. A molecule or ion having the same molecular formula can exist in different ways depending on the bonding orders, charge distribution differences, the way they arrange themselves in the space etc; these are known as isomers. Isotopes Atoms of the same element can be different. These different atoms of the same element are called isotopes.

They are different from each other by having different number of neutrons. Since the neutron number is different, their mass number also differs. However, the isotopes of the same element have the same number of protons and neutrons.

Different isotopes present in varying quantities, and this is given as a percentage value called relative abundance. For example, hydrogen has three isotopes as protium, deuterium and tritium. Their number of neutrons and relative abundances are as follows. Among these isotopes, only some are stable. For instance, oxygen has three stable isotopes, and tin has ten stable isotopes.

Most of the time, simple elements have the same neutron number as the proton number but, in heavy elements, more neutrons are there than the protons. The number of neutrons is important to balance the stability of the nuclei.

When the nuclei are too heavy, they become unstable and, therefore, those isotopes are becoming radioactive. For example, U emits radiation and decays to much smaller nuclei. Isotopes may have different properties because of their different masses. For example, they may have different spins, thus their NMR spectra differs. However, their electron number is similar giving rise to a similar chemical behavior.

A mass spectrometer can be used to get information about isotopes. It gives the number of isotopes which an element has, their relative abundances and masses. Isomers Isomers are different compounds with the same molecular formula. There are various types of isomers. Isomers can be mainly divided into two groups as constitutional isomers and stereo isomers. Constitutional isomers are isomers where the connectivity of atoms differs in molecules.

Butane is the simplest alkane to show constitutional isomerism. Butane has two constitutional isomers, butane itself and isobutene. In stereo-isomers atoms are connected in the same sequence, unlike constitutional isomers.

Stereoisomers differ only in the arrangement of their atoms in space. Stereoisomers can be of two types, enantiomers and diastereomers. Diastereomers are stereoisomers whose molecules are not the mirror images of each other. The cis trans isomers of 1,2-dichloroethene are diastereomers. Enantiomers are stereoisomers whose molecules are non-superposable mirror images of each other.

Enantiomers occur only with chiral molecules. A chiral molecule is defined as one that is not identical with its mirror image. Therefore, the chiral molecule and its mirror image are enantiomers of each other. For example, 2-butanol molecule is chiral, and it and its mirror images are enantiomers.

What is the difference between Isotopes and Isomers? Isomers are different compounds with the same molecular formula. Isomers with the same chemical formula have differences in both chemical and physical properties except some isomers.


Difference Between Isotopes and Isomers

In the nucleus, the proton-neutron pair was known as Nucleon. Due to the discovery of neutron, atomic mass and atomic number were understood easily. This led to a better understanding of isotopes and radioactivity. James Chadwick discovered neutron and stated that the mass of a neutron is closer to that of proton.



For example, boron and carbon nuclei both contain 7 neutrons , and so are isotones. Similarly, 36S, 37Cl, 38Ar, 39K, and 40Ca nuclei are all isotones of 20 because they all contain 20 neutrons. Despite its similarity to the Greek for "same stretching", the term was formed by the German physicist K. Guggenheimer [1] by changing the "p" in " isotope " from "p" for "proton" to "n" for "neutron". Neutron numbers for which there are no stable isotones are 19, 21, 35, 39, 45, 61, 89, , , and or more. In contrast, the proton numbers for which there are no stable isotopes are 43 , 61 , and 83 or more.

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