What is the advantage of using isotope notation instead of hyphen notation?
Isotope notation makes it easier to calculate the numbers of electrons, protons, and neutrons and to write the products of a nuclear reaction.
If you write an element as calcium-40, you can say that it has 40 nucleons. But you can't tell how many protons, neutrons, or electrons it has.
If you write it as
Here's a question: What is the product when a calcium-40 nucleus absorbs an alpha particle (a helium nucleus?
In hyphen notation,
calcium-40 + helium-4 → ?
In isotope notation,
In which case is it easier to predict that the product is