I have never been a fan of isotopes. I remember not understanding or knowing what an isotope is.
First, to fully know what an isotope is, you must know how an atom is structured.
1) i. Remember that the atomic number (the whole number) is the number of protons.
ii. Protons have a positive charge
iii. Protons make up the type of element – An element with 4 protons will always be Beryllium, an element with 12 protons will be Magnesium.
2) Remember that the atomic mass (the decimal number) is the total of protons added to neutrons.
ii. Neutrons have no charge
iii. Neutrons and protons are both found in the nucleus of the atom.
3) Isotopes are when elements have different amount of neutrons but still having the same number of protons.
In other words, elements such as carbon can have 15 known isotopes, but only C-12 (regular), C-13 and C-14 are naturally occurring and C-14 is only found in traces. All these isotopes are still carbon but they all have different neutrons. C-14, commonly known as Carbon-14 is greatly used in archeology in dating samples.
First of all Carbon-14 is a radiocarbon meaning that it will undergo radioactive decay by emitting beta particles. As beta particles are emitted, the carbon-14 atom will eventually get smaller in this case will reach the half-life of its original state. Half-life is the time for the amount of carbon-14 to reach half of its amount, which is 5730 years! Therefore, if someone can analyze the amount of carbon-14 available or left in a sample, they can trace back the amount of time that carbon-14 has disintegrated, thus, the time of origin of the sample.
- Calculating average atomic mass and what that means.
- Importance and applications of isotopes
- Know how to name covalent/ionic compounds with polyatomic ions and multivalent elements.
- Know how to balance chemical reactions
- Be able to describe the concept of the mole and its importance to measurement in chemistry.
- Mole conversions (Molar volume, mass, and particles)
- Know how to identify the type of reaction and be able to predict products and reactants.
- Know how to use mol-mol ratio to calculate moles of another or mass of another
- Calculate your limiting reagent and excess
- Know how to determine your empirical formulas from percent composition