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Thread: Isotopes

  1. #1 Isotopes 
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    If newtrons do not have any charge than how do more or less change the properties of the substence?


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    Neutrons are only MOSTLY neutral, they are slightly negative which is why they are able to bond with the protons and the electrons are able to offset the positive charge of the protons, causing the atom to equalize its overall polarity for the most part


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    Neutrons are only MOSTLY neutral, they are slightly negative which is why they are able to bond with the protons and the electrons are able to offset the positive charge of the protons, causing the atom to equalize its overall polarity for the most part
    What? Electrons are negative and balance the charge of protons.

    Neutrons increase the mass of the nucleus. A nucleus with a neutronroton that is too high or too low is unstable.
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    Well, more or less neutrons in the nucleus do not effectively change the chemical properties of an atom or its molecules. A notable exception is the hydrogen-deuterium pair due to the doubling of the mass. The differences are chiefly in reaction rates, and in biological systems these differences are sufficient to make large quantities of deuterium toxic.

    There are no noticeable differences in physical properties of isotopes, although the very slight difference in mass provides one means of separation. For example, uranium isotopes are separated into U235 and U238 by exhaustive centrifugation techiques.

    The chief difference lies in the nuclear properties. As mentioned above, too many or too few neutrons in the nucleus can sometimes lead to nuclear instability. That means that a particular isotope of an element can be radioactive while other isotopes of the same element are not. So carbon-12 is stable and carbon-14 is radioactive.

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  6. #5  
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    How and why does a substence gain or lose neutrons if they don't have a noticable charge?
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    Substances do not gain or lose neutrons. Not ever, unless you count radioactivity or nuclear bombardment which is pretty strong stuff.

    Can you give us an example of what leads you to think neutrons are easily gained or lost, or cases in which they might affect properties?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rancidchickn
    Neutrons are only MOSTLY neutral, they are slightly negative which is why they are able to bond with the protons and the electrons are able to offset the positive charge of the protons, causing the atom to equalize its overall polarity for the most part
    What? Electrons are negative and balance the charge of protons.

    Neutrons increase the mass of the nucleus. A nucleus with a neutronroton that is too high or too low is unstable.
    Hmm, I could have swore the net charge was slightly negative but that it was so negligible it was hard to detect. I know the core of the neutron is positive, the shell negative, causing a net charge to be neutral, but I thought it was just mostly neutral...
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
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    Substances do not gain or lose neutrons. Not ever, unless you count radioactivity or nuclear bombardment which is pretty strong stuff.

    Can you give us an example of what leads you to think neutrons are easily gained or lost, or cases in which they might affect properties?

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    Well if having a different amount of neutrons didn't affect the substence's properties, what is the difference between an isotope and a normal atom? Is radioactivity caused by the atom being isotopic or ionic? Because if it is caused by isotopes then the neutrons do make a difference, but how?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
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    Substances do not gain or lose neutrons. Not ever, unless you count radioactivity or nuclear bombardment which is pretty strong stuff.

    Can you give us an example of what leads you to think neutrons are easily gained or lost, or cases in which they might affect properties?

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    Well if having a different amount of neutrons didn't affect the substence's properties, what is the difference between an isotope and a normal atom?
    Forget about 'normal' atoms. All atoms are 'normal'. All elements consist of atoms that are isotopes. Even Hydrogen has three isotopic forms.

    An element is defined by the number of protons (or in non-ionic conditions, electrons) in the atom. The number of neutrons is irrelevant for the purposes of chemistry. The element is, therefore, defined by its electro-magnetic properties, which rely solely on the number of electrons and protons its atoms contain.

    The atoms can, therefore, contain different numbers of neutrons, that do not affect the electrical properties, or (except in a physical density sense) its chemical properties. Each type of atom a particular element has, defined by the number of neutrons it contains (and labelled in terms of atomic weight - the sum of the protons and neutrons) is called an isotope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    Is radioactivity caused by the atom being isotopic or ionic?
    Radioactivity has nothing to do with chemical reactivity. Therefore ions are irrelevant to radioactivity.

    Radioactivity generally occurs when an atom has an excess of neutrons in its nucleus and therefore has a tendency, within 'short' periods of time, to decay, thereby causing radioactivity (the emission of energetic particles or photons). Short, in this case, can be defined as anything from a billionth of a second to a billion years, depending upon context.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    Because if it is caused by isotopes then the neutrons do make a difference, but how?
    By being too many for the weak nuclear force to hold them all stably in the nucleus.
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  11. #10  
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    neutrons have a set mass (similar to that of protons).

    they are considered to be a binding force for the nucleus (hence radioactivity is relevant)

    they don't really effect chemical reactions much, but isotopes have an effect on the Mass spectra and Chloroform - D (deuterated chloroform) is used for NMR
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