Types of isotope dating

There are two main types of isotopes, and these are radioactive isotopes and stable isotopes.Stable isotopes have a stable combination of protons and neutrons, so they have stable nuclei and do not undergo decay.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.For protium, the number of neutrons is zero; for deuterium, the number of neutrons is one; and for tritium, the number of neutrons is two.Going back to our comparison with identical twins, we can say that these three isotopes of hydrogen are like identical triplets of each other - they may appear to be identical outside, but they are different inside, and they also have different names. There are three isotopes of carbon: carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14.

The sum of the number of protons and the number of neutrons is equal to the atomic mass.Radioactive isotopes have an unstable combination of protons and neutrons, so they have unstable nuclei.Because these isotopes are unstable, they undergo decay, and in the process can emit alpha, beta and gamma rays.Free 5-day trial Not all atoms of an element are identical - atoms of the same element can have different numbers of neutrons.These different versions of the same element are called isotopes.

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