Jump to content

The countess- asker of the dumb questions.


CountessDrac
 Share

Recommended Posts

isotopes... how do they become isotopes?

Im serious' date=' they dont teach you this stuff in Secondary schooL! argh, i feel so dumb.[/quote']

Atoms are made by stars (stellar nucleosynthesis), and I believe this includes their isotopes. This isotopes that occur naturally are ones that have survived since, so the more abundant ones are usually the more stable/less radioactive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chemical element has to have certain quantity of protons in atom. If it has more or less its another element. Atom contains also some neutrons but if it has more or less of them then its still the same element but different isotope. Isotopes are as common in nature as usual elements. (which are just most common isotopes or mixtures of them)

 

Less common isotopes can be collected and concentrated or made artifically by nuclear reactions

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Each element has a number of isotopes. For example, hydrogen. We know it's hydrogen becouse it consists of 1 proton and 1 electron. Same for iron : we know this is iron and not oxygen becouse it consists of 26 protons and 26 electron (= atomic number). But atoms also have neutrons. The number of neutrons in an atom doesn't have to be the number of protons. For example : hydrogen with 1 proton and 1 electron could also have 1 neutron, but we also find hydrogenatoms with two neutrons (, 1 proton and 1 electron) or hydrogens with 3 neutrons (, 1 proton and 1 electron). Becouse those 3 atoms all have 1 proton, we know they are Hydrogen, but they differ in their number of neutrons. Hydrogen with 1 neutron is called hydrogen. Hydrogen with 2 neutrons is called deuterium. And hydrogen with 3 neutrons is called Tritium. We call hydrogen, deuterium and tritium ISOTOPES of hydrogen. So how do they form ?? Well, just like all the other elements (atoms.). It's not that we can separate the 'normal' atoms from the 'isotopes'. Every atom is in some way an isotope. We just speak of isotopes becouse we find many different atoms for the same element in the periodic table. But they are all formed in the nucleus of stars. First hydrogen and helium will hit each other at very very high speeds and temperatures and form Lithium. This process continues and all elements will be formed. The heavy elements (like Pb for example) can only be formed in super nova's. When those stars explode, the elements formed inside the star are made free, (and can in a second step form our planet earth for example) Of course you have stable and less stable isotopes. That's why we always find a certain percentage of isotopes of an element. Some isotopes are so unstable, they will break down in other isotopes or elements (radioactivity).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're a little off there Mendelejev. H1 has ZERO neutrons. H2 has one neutron, and H3 has 2 neutrons. H1 (Protium) is the commonly encounted isotope of hydrogen. H2 (Deuterium) is known as 'heavy hydrogen' since water made from deuterium is slightly denser than water made with normal protium. H3 (tritium) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen which decays via beta emission and has a half-life of about 12 years. It is used in those little 'traser' gadgets and in the exit signs in hospitals and large buildings. (Since if the power goes out, the glow caused by the beta emissions hitting a phosphorescent coating will light the way). There is another isotope of hydrogen containing 3 neutrons, but it has a fleetingly small half-life and is only a lab curiosity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

are you doing gcse yet? if you havent done isotopes then i would start to worry :eek:

 

 

see why im worried . ^o)

 

You ask them anything other than what your doing in the lesson or even HOW anything happens etc. they just say thats irrelevant, stop asking stupid questions, then they shout at you.

 

thanks for all your help everybody, any more information you could give me on this subject would be gradnly appreciated!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not in the GCSE syllabus, so no need to worry in that respect!

 

Otherwise, natural isotopes are made in just the same way as atoms are, you have a bunch of sub atomic particles that bond together, depending on how many bond and in what way you will get a particle, be it an atom, isotope, molecule or whatever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im sure its under waves and radiation, unless we do more stuff in our school. and i totall agree with you there drac - were not tought science, where tought how to throw up information that the government want us to know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isotopes can be created naturally in four ways:

a) The initial creation of elements in the big bang. This produced 75% 1H, 25% 4He, .01% 2H, .001% 3He, and a tiny smattering of lithium. ["]http://www.phys.vt.edu/~jjb/BHU/brief.htm]

b) Nucleosynthethis within stars. This accounts for the formation of all but a minor amount of all the other isotopes. ["]http://www-phys.llnl.gov/Research/RRSN/]

c) Radioactive decay of unstable isotopes. The decay of Ur238 to Pb206 is an often cited example. There are many more, and several processes by which the decay occurs. ["]http://www.geo.cornell.edu/geology/classes/Geo656/656notes03/656%2003Lecture02.pdf]

d) “Cosmogenic nuclides are formed by the interaction of cosmic rays …. with nuclei of atoms in the atmosphere or at the very surface of mineral grains exposed to atmosphere” from http://www.huxley.ic.ac.uk/Local/EarthSciUG/ESFirstYr/EarthMaterials/mrpalmer/EarthMaterials/Iso/module7/m7.html

 

Countess, also please note that there are no dumb questions, though there can be dumb answers. Could you try prefacing your questions with something like "I realise this is not central to what we are discussing, but it interests me. Could you suggest something specific I could read to understand it better." If you continue to receive unhelpful responses, lodge a formal complaint with the school governers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im sure its under waves and radiation, unless we do more stuff in our school. and i totall agree with you there drac - were not tought science, where tought how to throw up information that the government want us to know.
You need to know about them... you don't need to know how they become isotopes in the first place. Whilst different exam boards vary slightly, they're not that different. And I agree with what you said.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much Ophiolite!

 

were not tought science, where tought how to throw up information that the government want us to know.

 

Its so true, If i asked almost anybody in my year how somthing happened or why somthing happened their answer would be. "I Don't know it just did."

 

That or they'd say, Im sure its in the text book somewhere. :-(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.