What makes isotopes of the same element differ from each other?There can be many isotopes of the same element. What makes isotopes different?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The obvious difference, described in more detail at the link below, is the different number of neutrons in the isotope that make it different from the original element.

A great example are the various isotopes of uranium, some of them useful for just about nothing except to be mildly radioactive, some of the useful to act as fuel in nuclear reactors, and some of them useful as the core of a warhead in a nuclear reactor.  Amazing what different isotopes can mean for the various applications, etc.

Again, the link below gives quite a bit more detail about what isotopes are and can be used for, etc.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial