Confused about isotopes and what makes them unstable/stable

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Skellibog
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Report Thread starter 8 months ago
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I just need some clarification because im slightly confused,
Can I change the number of neutrons of an element to any number for it to become an isotope?
How do I know what isotopes are radioactive? What makes an isotope stable even??
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Tbbay
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Report 8 months ago
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Isotopes are atoms of an element which have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons in their nuclei. So, theoretically speaking, you can come up with an infinite number of isotopes as long as you vary the neutron number to infinity. As to whether such an atom exists in reality is another question.
Isotopes that have a very unstable nuclei due to the unbalance of the number of neutrons and protons achieve stability by shedding particles and energy, and in the process, becoming radioactive.
As for determining the stability of the isotope, this website explains everything in great detail. Do give it a read.
https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshel..._Magic_Numbers
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