"Atom W has 9 protons and 9 neutrons, Atom X has 8 protons and 9" "neutrons. Atom Y has 9 protons, and 9 neutrons. Atom Z has 10 protons" "and 10 neutrons." What are the isotopes?

Mar 14, 2017

The number of nuclear protons gives $Z$, the atomic number......

Explanation:

And $Z$ defines the identity of the element: Z=1,H;Z=2,He;..........Z=6,C;........Z=37, Ru...........

You don't have to remember these numbers, because a Periodic Table will be supplied to you in every test of chemistry and physics. You do have to be able to USE the Table.

Nuclear protons are conceived to have a positive charge. For a NEUTRAL element, there thus must be an equal number of negative charges, and these are supplied by $\text{electrons}$, which have negligible mass, unlike the proton, and are conceived to whizz about the nuclear core.

Also contained in the nuclear core, are various numbers of neutrons. Because a particular element may have various numbers of neutrons, this gives rise to the existence of $\text{isotopes}$, which are the same element, but isotopes have slightly different mass.

And so we identify the given nuclides, armed with a Periodic Table. All I do is look up the number $Z$, given by the number of protons:

$\text{Atom W}$ $=$ $\text{9 protons and 9 neutrons}$, ""^18F

$\text{Atom X}$ $=$ $\text{8 protons and 9 neutrons}$, ""^17O

$\text{Atom Y}$ $=$ $\text{9 protons and 9 neutrons}$, ""^18F

(i.e. $W$ and $Y$ are the same isotopes)

$\text{Atom Z}$ $=$ $\text{9 protons and 10 neutrons}$, ""^19F

$Z$ and $Y$ are different isotopes of the fluorine element. $W$ and $Y$ are the SAME isotope.

Please don't be blinded by science, and a few unfamiliar terms. The concept is fairly simple, and if you persist you will master it. A final question. We have $Z = 92$ for an unknown element. It has $146$ neutrons in its nucleus. Can you identify the element, and the relevant isotope?