Which isotopes are stable and unstable?

Stable isotopes are naturally occurring forms of elements that are non-radioactive. Unstable isotopes are atoms having unstable nuclei. Therefore, these elements undergo radioactivity. This is the main difference between stable and unstable isotopes.

How unstable isotopes become stable?

Most isotopes become stable by emitting alpha particles, beta particles, positrons, or gamma rays. A few become stable by electron capture or by spontaneous fission.

What is the meaning of stable and unstable in one group of isotopes?

The addition of even one neutron can dramatically change an isotope’s properties. Carbon-12 is stable, meaning it never undergoes radioactive decay. Carbon-14 is unstable and undergoes radioactive decay with a half-life of about 5,730 years (meaning that half of the material will be gone after 5,730 years).

How do stable and unstable isotopes of the same element differ from each other?

The stable isotopes have nuclei that do not decay to other isotopes on geologic time scales but may themselves be produced by the decay of radioactive isotopes. Radioactive (unstable) isotopes have nuclei that spontaneously decay over time to form other isotopes.

How many isotopes are unstable?

Only 90 isotopes are expected to be perfectly stable, and an additional 162 are energetically unstable, but have never been observed to decay. Thus, 252 isotopes (nuclides) are stable by definition (including tantalum-180m, for which no decay has yet been observed).

How do we distinguish between a stable atom and an unstable atom?

A stable atom is an atom that has enough binding energy to hold the nucleus together permanently. An unstable atom does not have enough binding energy to hold the nucleus together permanently and is called a radioactive atom.

What is stable and unstable in chemistry?

An atom is stable if the forces among the particles that makeup the nucleus are balanced. An atom is unstable (radioactive) if these forces are unbalanced; if the nucleus has an excess of internal energy. Instability of an atom’s nucleus may result from an excess of either neutrons or protons.

What are unstable isotopes called?

A radioisotope is an isotope of an element that is unstable and undergoes radioactive decay.

Why are isotopes unstable?

Explanation: Usually, what makes an isotope unstable is the large nucleus. If a nucleus becomes larger enough from the number of neutrons, since the neutron count is what makes isotopes, it will be unstable and will try to ‘shed’ its neutrons and/or protons in order to achieve stability.

What is the difference between an element that is stable and an unstable?