Introduction of isotopes:
Atoms of a specified element have the similar atomic number that is they include the same number of protons. However, they may include dissimilar numbers of neutrons. They correspond to the similar element and are chemically identical; they have dissimilar mass number (iso means same, tope means same place; they occupy the same place in the periodic table).
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Therefore atoms of the similar element having similar number of protons (atomic number) but unlike number of neutrons (dissimilar mass numbers), are known as isotopes. Isotopes may be logically happening or synthetically made.
The term radio-isotope is the shortened form of radioactive isotope. If the isotope of an element is radioactive, then the isotope is called radio-isotope, referred to as radio-nuclide. Atleast one radio-isotope of every element is available. Over a thousand of them can be made artificially, mostly in nuclear reactors using slow neutrons as bombarding particles.
Examples for radio- isotopes:
Cobalt -60 an isotope of cobalt is radioactive; it is usually referred to as radio-cobalt. Radio-iodine(I181), radio-iron (Fe59), radio-sodium(Na24), Radio- phosphorous(P30), radio-cobalt(Co60), radio-sulphur(S35) and radio- carbon(C14) are some of the radio- isotopes.
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Uses of Isotopes:
Radio isotopes find applications in various fields; some are listed below.
a) Radio- phosphorous is used in agriculture to determine the kind of phosphates required for a given soil and crop.
b) Radio- iodine is used in the treatment of overactive thyroid glands and radio-cobalt in the treatment of cancer. Radio- sodium is used to study the action of medicines.
c) Radio- cobalt or radio-iridium is used in industry to check machine parts.
d) Radio- carbon is used to estimate the age of fossils and archaeological specimens.
Points to remember:
Isotopes of hydrogen are normal hydrogen (protium) (1H1), deuterium (1H2) and tritium (1H3).
Isotopes of carbon are 6C11, 6C12, 6C13, and 6C16.