We have to determine the way in which the two isotopes of xenon are identical to each other.
Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have the same atomic number but a different mass number.
Recall that the symbol of an element is written is this way:
Atomic number (Z):
• represents the identity of the element
• reveals the number of protons
• in a neutral element:
number of protons = number of electrons
Mass number (A)
• reveals the number of protons and neutrons
mass number = number of protons + number of neutrons
One way in which Earths evolution as a planet can be understood is by measuring the amounts of certain isotopes in rocks. One quantity recently measured is the ratio of 129Xe to 130Xe in some minerals.
In what respects are these two isotopes the same?
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