describe what isotopes are and how one isotope affects an element"s atomic mass. Determine the variety of protons, electrons, and neutrons of an element with a given mass number.

You are watching: How many neutrons does carbon 16 have

All atom of the same facet have the same variety of protons, but some may have various numbers the neutrons. For example, every carbon atoms have six protons, and also most have six neutrons as well. But some carbon atoms have seven or eight neutrons instead of the usual six. Atoms of the same element that differ in their numbers of neutron are called isotopes. Plenty of isotopes occur naturally. Generally one or 2 isotopes of an facet are the most stable and common. Different isotopes the an element generally have the very same physical and beer-selection.comical properties due to the fact that they have the same numbers of protons and also electrons.

An Example: Hydrogen Isotopes

Hydrogen is an example of an facet that has actually isotopes. 3 isotopes the hydrogen are modeled in figure (PageIndex1). Most hydrogen atoms have just one proton, one electron, and lack a neutron. These atoms are just dubbed hydrogen. Part hydrogen atoms have one neutron as well. This atoms are the isotope named deuterium. Various other hydrogen atoms have two neutrons. This atoms room the isotope named tritium.

Figure (PageIndex1): The three many stable isotope of hydrogen: protium (A = 1), deuterium (A = 2), and tritium (A = 3). (CC SA-BY 3.0; Balajijagadesh).

For most aspects other 보다 hydrogen, isotopes are named for their mass number. Because that example, carbon atoms with the normal 6 neutrons have actually a mass variety of 12 (6 proton + 6 neutrons = 12), so they are referred to as carbon-12. Carbon atoms v 7 neutrons have actually an atomic mass the 13 (6 proton + 7 neutron = 13). This atoms room the isotope dubbed carbon-13.

Stability that Isotopes

Atoms need a certain ratio of neutrons to protons to have actually a stable nucleus. Having too countless or too few neutrons loved one to protons results in an unstable, or radioactive, cell core that will sooner or later malfunction to a an ext stable form. This process is referred to as radioactive decay. Numerous isotopes have radioactive nuclei, and also these isotopes are referred to as radioisotopes. Once they decay, they release particles that may be harmful. This is why radioactive isotopes space dangerous and also why working with them needs special suits because that protection. The isotope of carbon well-known as carbon-14 is an example of a radioisotope. In contrast, the carbon isotopes referred to as carbon-12 and carbon-13 are stable.

This whole conversation of isotopes brings us ago to Dalton"s atomic Theory. Follow to Dalton, atoms of a given element are identical. Yet if atoms of a given element can have different numbers the neutrons, then they have the right to have different masses together well! how did Dalton miss out on this? It transforms out that facets found in nature exist as constant uniform mixture of your naturally emerging isotopes. In other words, a item of lithium constantly contains both species of naturally developing lithium (the type with 3 neutrons and also the form with 4 neutrons). Moreover, it constantly contains the 2 in the same relative amounts (or "relative abundance"). In a chunk that lithium, (93\%) will always be lithium through 4 neutrons, when the staying (7\%) will always be lithium with 3 neutrons.

Dalton always experimented with large chunks of one element—chunks the contained every one of the naturally arising isotopes of that element. Together a result, when he performed his measurements, he was actually observing the average properties of all the various isotopes in the sample. For many of our objectives in beer-selection.comistry, we will perform the exact same thing and deal with the median mass the the atoms. Luckily, aside from having various masses, many other properties of different isotopes are similar.

There room two main ways in i m sorry scientists frequently show the mass number of an atom they room interested in. It is crucial to note that the mass number is not provided on the routine table. These 2 ways include writing a nuclear symbol or by giving the name of the aspect with the massive number written.

To create a nuclear symbol, the mass number is put at the upper left (superscript) that the beer-selection.comistry symbol and the atom number is inserted at the lower left (subscript) of the symbol. The finish nuclear symbol for helium-4 is drawn below:


The complying with nuclear symbols room for a nickel nucleus with 31 neutrons and also a uranium nucleus through 146 neutrons.

< ce ^238_92U>

In the nickel nucleus represented above, the atom number 28 suggests that the nucleus consists of 28 protons, and therefore, it must contain 31 neutron in stimulate to have actually a mass variety of 59. The uranium nucleus has 92 protons, together all uranium nuclei do; and this details uranium nucleus has actually 146 neutrons.

See more: Can You Take Mucinex And Benadryl At The Same Time, Compare Benadryl Vs Mucinex

Another method of representing isotope is by including a hyphen and also the massive number to the beer-selection.comical surname or symbol. Thus the 2 nuclei would be Nickel-59 or Ni-59 and Uranium-238 or U-238, whereby 59 and 238 are the mass numbers of the 2 atoms, respectively. Keep in mind that the mass number (not the variety of neutrons) are given to the side of the name.


Exercise (PageIndex3)

How plenty of protons, electrons, and also neutrons room in every atom?

(^60_27ceCo) Na-24 (^45_20ceCa) Sr-90 Answer a: 27 protons, 27 electrons, 33 neutrons Answer b: 11 protons, 11 electrons, 13 neutrons Answer c: 20 protons, 20 electrons, 25 neutrons Answer d: 38 protons, 38 electrons, 52 neutrons