If an isotope undergoes radioactive decay very, very slowly, it may be termed stable. University of Melbourne provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.
With the exception of hydrogen, the most abundant isotopes of the natural elements have the same number of protons and neutrons.
Carbon 12 and Carbon 14 are both isotopes of carbon, one with 6 neutrons and one with 8 neutrons (both with 6 protons).
There are over 800 radioactive isotopes, some of which are natural and some synthetic.
The exception would be the isotopes of hydrogen, since the number of neutrons has such a significant effect on the size of the hydrogen nucleus.
Radioactivity and radiation are often used interchangeably, but they describe different (yet related) processes.
But before going into this difference, it’s useful to understand what atoms are and a few concepts about how they behave.
An atom is the smallest particle that can be described as a chemical.
Smaller particles aren’t chemicals in the same way that wheels, windscreens and seats aren’t cars – they are parts of them, but you need a few to make the whole.
Carbon-12 is a stable isotope, while carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope (radioisotope). Related Words Isotope (noun), Isotopic (adjective), Isotopically (adverb), Isotopy (noun)The term "isotope" was introduced by the British chemist Frederick Soddy in 1913, as recommended by Margaret Todd.