Problem: Part B. In the PhET simulation under the Isotopes tab, click on the yellow cells corresponding to elements in the periodic table. Then, add or remove neutrons by dragging the gray particles either to the nucleus of the atom or to the bin beside the atom to obtain the specified isotope, determine which isotopes of the given elements are stable. Drag the appropriate items to their respective bins.Although every element contains a unique number of protons, there can be atoms of the same element that contain a different amount of neutrons. These different atoms of the same element are referred to as isotopes and differ in their atomic mass. Click on the image below to explore this simulation, building your own isotope of a selected element or making a mixture of isotopes. When you click this simulation link, you may be asked whether to run, open, or save the file. Choose to run or open itWhen the simulation is open you should the options to select Isotopes or Mixtures. Select Isotopes. You should see a scale with an atom of hydrogen on it. The current isotope (hydrogen-1) can be changed by adding neutrons from the bin located to the left of the scale. There is a periodic table in the upper right corner of the simulation showing cells in yellow representing the elements that can be selected. Clicking on the Mixtures tab at the bottom brings up a black background where custom isotope mixtures can be created or nature’s mix of isotopes can be viewed for a selected element.

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Part B. In the PhET simulation under the Isotopes tab, click on the yellow cells corresponding to elements in the periodic table. Then, add or remove neutrons by dragging the gray particles either to the nucleus of the atom or to the bin beside the atom to obtain the specified isotope, determine which isotopes of the given elements are stable. 

Drag the appropriate items to their respective bins.


Although every element contains a unique number of protons, there can be atoms of the same element that contain a different amount of neutrons. These different atoms of the same element are referred to as isotopes and differ in their atomic mass. Click on the image below to explore this simulation, building your own isotope of a selected element or making a mixture of isotopes. When you click this simulation link, you may be asked whether to run, open, or save the file. Choose to run or open it


When the simulation is open you should the options to select Isotopes or Mixtures. Select Isotopes. You should see a scale with an atom of hydrogen on it. The current isotope (hydrogen-1) can be changed by adding neutrons from the bin located to the left of the scale. There is a periodic table in the upper right corner of the simulation showing cells in yellow representing the elements that can be selected. Clicking on the Mixtures tab at the bottom brings up a black background where custom isotope mixtures can be created or nature’s mix of isotopes can be viewed for a selected element.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Band of Stability concept. You can view video lessons to learn Band of Stability. Or if you need more Band of Stability practice, you can also practice Band of Stability practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Podowitz-Thomas' class at Thomas Jefferson University.