Differences between isotopes and isobars in 5 points given below. It will help you to understand the basic difference between them.
- Definition: Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have the same number of protons (atomic number) but different numbers of neutrons (varying mass numbers). Isobars, on the other hand, are atoms of different elements that have the same mass number but different atomic numbers.
- Atomic Number: Isotopes have different mass numbers but the same atomic number. Isobars have different atomic numbers but the same mass number.
- Element Identity: Isotopes belong to the same chemical element and have similar chemical properties due to having the same number of protons. Isobars, on the other hand, belong to different chemical elements and have different chemical properties due to having different numbers of protons.
- Nuclear Stability: Isotopes may have varying degrees of stability depending on the ratio of neutrons to protons in the atomic nucleus. Isobars, being atoms of different elements, can have different levels of nuclear stability based on their unique atomic structures.
- Occurrence: Isotopes are commonly found in nature, and multiple isotopes of an element may exist with different abundances. Isobars, on the other hand, are relatively less common in nature and are usually the result of artificial or nuclear processes.