aria asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 6 months ago

Give evidence to support or dispute: "In nature, the chance of finding one isotope of an element is the same for all elements."?

In your response to this question:

- convey an understanding of the terms isotope, radioisotope, isotopic abundance, and relative atomic mass

- choose a side to support and

- provide examples and effective evidence to support the claim

4 Answers

  • 6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    As others have mentioned, the question is so ambiguously worded as to be almost meaningless. I am sorry that you have to put up with a teacher who either (a) does not know the English language well or (b) is a moron.

    So I will DISPUTE the statement. If it means that all elements are equally abundant, it is false. If it means that all the isotopes of a particular element are equally abundant, it is false. If it means that all isotopes of all elements are equally abundant, it is false. And what is "nature" ? If I put a detector up in the air, the chances are strong (80%) that the first isotope it will encounter is the commonest isotope of nitrogen, the one whose relative atomic mass is 14.

    You can of course include definitions of "radioisotope" and so forth. But my respect for the asker is so non-existent, that I wouldn't even bother. The question itself is idiotic !!!

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  • Dr W
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    in nature means.... "atoms that are naturally occurring".. meaning.. isotopes that have long half lives.


    not all elements have the same number of naturally occurring isotopes. Some elements have 1 stable isotope, others have more than one.


    Assuming your question means, "If you have element X with stable elements Xa, Xb, Xc, etc. is the chance of choosing an atom at random and coming up with isotope letter Xb from that list the same as it would be if you have element Z with isotopes Za, Zb, Zc, etc?

    The answer is NO.

    some elements to consider..

    .. Copper. has 2 naturally occurring isotopes.. Cu-63 (69%) and Cu-65 (31%)

    .. Barium.. has 6 naturally occurring isotopes. Ba-132 (<1%), Ba-134 (2%), Ba-135 (7%),

    .. .. .... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . .. Ba-136 (8%), Ba-137(11%), Ba-138 (72%)

    .. Bromine.. 2 naturally occuring isotopes.. Br-79 (51%) and Br-81 (49%)

    .. gold... has 1 naturally occuring isotope.. Au-197

    so.. in a pile of naturally occurring copper atoms, is the probability that I'll choose a Cu-63 isotope the same as the probability of choosing a Br-79 atom from a pile of naturally occurring Br atoms? No.. 69:100 ≠ 51:100 does it?

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  • Retief
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    In other words, do your research for you then do your homework for you.

    Read about isotopes and how they vary by element.

    Then do the work.

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  • 6 months ago

    The statement is poorly formed. It is not clear if it means "finding one particular isotope" or "finding anything that is an isotope". (I presume the latter, since the former is certainly false.)

    Since every atom of every element is an isotope of one sort or another, the chances of finding an isotope is certain for every atom of everything.

    "In nature" changes nothing. The statement is equally true for all man-made elements and isotopes as well.

    There is no need to mention " radioisotope, isotopic abundance, and relative atomic mass", so to demonstrate my understanding:

    A radioisotope is an unstable atom which, in time, will decay and form a different isotope.

    Isotopic abundance measures how much of each isotope is present.

    Relative atomic mass measures, in essence, the number of nucleons in an atom.

    Examples and evidence: 1 H 1 is an isotope, 2 H 1 is an isotope, 3 H 1 is an isotope. Substitute any element and atomic mass, it is still an isotope. (If it is an atom, it is an isotope.)

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