Isotope

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  • A type of chemical element containing a different number of neutrons than electrons and protons in its nucleus. All elements contain an atom, which consists of particles of positive and negative charges— protons and electrons. The protons and electrons are found inside the nucleus, with the proton determining what element the atom is. In addition, atoms contain neutrons, which surround the nucleus and have no electrical charge. Some isotopes are unstable, and in the process of stabilizing, isotopes can lose particles, a process usually referred to as radiation. Unstable isotopes are known as radioisotopes and can release three types of radiation, otherwise known as alpha, beta, and gamma rays. All these rays are capable of causing harm to human beings, as exposure to radiation can ...

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