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Homework Help: Chemical element and chemical property

  1. Aug 10, 2007 #1
    Is it possible for atoms of the same chemical element to have different chemical properties?

    My attempt
    Isotopes of an element differ from one another by the number of neutrons in the nucleus. They have same number of proton in the nuclei so they have the same chemical properties but not same atomic weight.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2007 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The 'chemical' properties of an atom are governed by the electrons, since it is they that participate in the atomic bonding.

    There are very slight differences in electron binding energy as a result of the mass differences between isotopes, but they do not mean very different chemical properties. Related to this is the difference in spectral lines and one can take advantage of this difference of isotopic separation.


    The nuclear properties, such as neutron absorption cross-section or binding energy, do change with atomic mass.
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