You must have heard of Isotophes before in Chemistry but only a few do not know what it means. Scientific discoveries have shown that there are atoms of the same element with different masses. This is contrary to one of Dalton’s postulates and the phenomenon is known as isotopes.
Isotophy is the occurrence of two or more atoms of the same elements having the same atomic number but different mass numbers while the term Isotopes are atoms of the same piece with the same atomic number but a different mass number or atoms of the same piece with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons.
Examples Of Elements Exhibiting Isotopy
An example of an element that exhibits Isotopy is Hydrogen. Hydrogen has three Isotopes namely 11H(Protium), 21H(deuterium), and 31H(tritium). Protium is the most abundant isotope hence the reason why it is the symbol for hydrogen and it has no neutron. Another element that exhibits Isotopy is Chlorine which has two Isotopes with the symbols 3517Cl and 3717Cl with Chlorine-35 being the most abundant isotope.
Relative Atomic Mass Of Isotopic Elements
Atoms of the same isotope have the same mass number however, the relative atomic mass of an element with two or more isotopes depends on the percentage(relative) abundance of each isotope in the naturally occurring element. The mass spectrometer is used to determine the number of isotopes of an element and their relative abundance. Most elements have two or more isotopes and for an element that has none, the mass number is equal to its relative atomic mass.
Before we conclude, it is vital to know what Relative atomic mass means. The term Relative atomic mass of an element is the average mass of one atom on a scale in which one atom of carbon-12 weighs 12a.m.u. The table below would aid in your understanding of the topic
|Element||Symbol||Relative Atomic Mass|