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Which of the following statements are TRUE OF ISOTOPES?

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Which of the following statements are TRUE OF ISOTOPES?

  • I. Isotopes of an element have the same chemical properties because they have the same number of electrons
  • II. Isotopes of elements are normally separated using physical properties
  • III. Isotopes of an element have the same number of protons in their nuclei.

A. I and II only

B. I and III only

C. II and III only

D. I, II and III.




Isotopy occurs when one element exists in different atomic masses, but same atomic number. That is, isotopes are atoms of same element existing in different number of neutrons, but same number of proton and electron. Therefore:

  • Isotopes of an element truly have same chemical properties due to same number of valence electrons.
  • In the industry, advantage is often taken of the differences in atomic mass of isotopes to separate them, so, they can be separated by physical means.
  • Yes, isotopes of an element have the same number of proton.

Now for the right answer to the above question:

  1. Option A is incorrect. III is also correct.
  2. Option B is incorrect. II is also correct.
  3. C is incorrect. I is also correct.
  4. D is the correct answer. All of them are correct.


You may please note these/this:

  • In nuclear power and weapons industry, uranium 235 and 238 are often separated through a physical medium called centrifuge. This centrifuge employs a physical process of high velocity spin to separate and enrich uranium for power or weapons grade, this is a good example of how physical means are often employed to separate isotopes.

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/ culled from 2018 JAMB-UTME physics question 16 /

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