You are watching: A different form of the same element
No. 2 atoms the the same chemical facet are commonly not identical. First of all, over there is a selection of feasible states the the electrons of an atom can occupy. 2 atoms the the same aspect can be different if your electrons room in different states. If one copper atom has an electron in an excited state and another copper atom has all of its electrons in the ground state, then the 2 atoms space different. The excited copper atom will certainly emit a little of light once the electron relaxes back down to the soil state, and also the copper atom currently in the soil state will not. Due to the fact that the claims of the electrons in an atom are what identify the nature that the chemistry bonding the the atom experiences, two atoms the the same facet can react in different way if they are in various states. For instance, a neutral sodium atom (say, indigenous a chunk of sodium metal) reacts with water much much more violently than an ionized salt atom (say, indigenous a little of salt). Chemists recognize this really well. It"s not sufficient to say what atoms are involved if you desire to totally describe and predict a reaction. You have to additionally specify the ionization/excitation states of the electrons in the atoms. Also if left alone, an atom frequently does no come with an equal variety of protons and also electrons.
But what if two atoms of the same facet both have actually their electrons in the same states. Then room they identical? No, they room still not identical. Two atoms that the same element and also in the same electronic state could be traveling or rotating at different speeds, which affects their ability to chemically bond. Slower moving atoms (such as the atoms in solid iron) have actually time to kind stable bonds, while faster moving atom (such as the atom in fluid iron) cannot form such stable bonds. A slow moving tin atom acts in different ways from a rapidly moving tin atom.
But what if 2 atoms that the same element both have their electrons in the exact same states, and the atoms space both traveling and rotating in ~ the exact same speed. Then room they identical? No. Although two such atom are basically chemically similar (they will chemically reaction in the very same way), they space not fully identical. There"s an ext to the atom than the electrons. There"s additionally the nucleus. The cell core of one atom contains neutrons and also protons bonded tightly together. The very same chemical facet can have a different number of neutrons and still be the very same element. We describe the atoms of the same aspect with different numbers the neutrons as "isotopes". While the details isotope involved does not affect how an atom will certainly react chemically, that does determine just how the atom will certainly behave in atom reactions. The most typical nuclear reaction on earth is radioactive decay. Part isotopes decay very quickly into other elements and also emit radiation, while other isotopes execute not. If you space doing carbon dating, the truth that a carbon-12 atom is not identical to a carbon-14 atom is crucial to the dating process. Merely counting the variety of carbon atom in a sample will certainly not provide you any information about the period of a sample. You will need to count the number of different isotopes of carbon instead.
But what if 2 atoms room the same element, have actually electrons in the very same state, space traveling and also rotating in ~ the exact same speed, and have actually the same number of neutrons; then space they identical? No. Similar to the electrons, the neutrons and also protons in the nucleus can be in miscellaneous excited states. In addition, the nucleus as a entirety can rotate and vibrate at miscellaneous speeds. Therefore, also if every else is identical, two gold atoms deserve to have your nuclei in different excited states and also behave in different way in nuclear reactions.
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To state the case succinctly, the is an extremely hard to have actually two atom of the same aspect be precisely identical. In fact, doing well in coaxing a group of atoms to be an extremely close to similar was worthy that a Nobel Prize. With that said, don"t think that atoms have individual identities beyond what has been pointed out here. If 2 carbon atoms room in the exact same molecular, atomic, electronic and also nuclear states, climate those 2 carbon atoms are identical, no matter where they come from or what has happened to them in the past.
Topics: atom, atoms, carbon, chemical, electron, digital state, element, isotope, nucleus