Difference Between Ions and Isotopes (With Table)

Atoms consist of negatively charged electrons surrounding a nucleus in all matter. Protons and neutrons create the nucleus, while electromagnetic forces bind electrons together. The word ion refers to an atom that is either negatively or positively charged, while the isotopes of an element are different variations of its atoms. Despite being linked to the atoms within the element, ions and isotopes differ widely in numerous ways. 

Ions vs Isotopes 

The difference between Ions and isotopes is that Ions exist when electrons are insufficient or excessive in an atom, and the deficiency or excess amount determines the positive and negative charge of an atom. On the other hand, isotopes exist when neutrons in an atom are insufficient or excessive.   

The word ion refers to an atom that is either negatively or positively charged. They exist when electrons are insufficient or excessive in an atom. The excess or deficient amount determines the positive or negative charge of the atoms. This means that if there is an inadequate number of electrons, the atom will have a negative charge. On the other hand, if there is an excessive quantity of electrons, the atom will have a positive charge.  

The word isotope of an element refers to the different variations of atoms. They exist when the neutrons in an atom are insufficient or excessive. The number of protons in all atoms of a particular element is the same, but the number of neutrons may differ. Due to this, an element has several isotopes that have similar chemical properties and behaviours.   

Comparison Table Between Ions and Isotope

  Parameters of Comparison   Ions  Isotopes 
  Existence   Exists when there is an excess or deficient amount of electrons in an atom.   Exists when there is an excess or deficient amount of neutrons in an atom. 
 Nomenclature   Derived from a Greek word ‘iov’ that means ‘going’.  Derived from the Greek words ‘isos’ and ‘topos’ meaning ‘in the same place’.  
 Classification   They are either atomic after consisting of a single atom or molecular after consisting of several atoms.   They are mainly classified into two types- unstable and stable. 
 Definition   Refers to the negatively or positively charged atoms.  Refers to the different variations of atoms in an element.  
 Named by   English physicist Michael Faraday.  Suggested by Margaret Todd to Frederick Soddy. 

What are Ions? 

The word ion refers to an atom that is either negatively or positively charged, and the word has originated from a Greek word ‘iov’ meaning ‘going’. Michael Faraday, an English physicist, coined the term. Ions mainly exist when there is an excess or inadequate amount of electrons in an atom.  

The inadequate or excess amount of electrons in an atom determine the positive and negative charge of the atom. Therefore, when there is an excessive amount of electrons, the atom will have a positive charge. On the other hand, when there is an inadequate amount of electrons, the atoms will have a negative charge. In this case, excess or inadequate amount of electrons causes the nucleus to emit an electrical charge as an atom’s total number of protons is not equal to its total number of electrons.  

The ions are largely classified into atomic and molecular. Ions that consist of a single atom are categorized either as atomic or monoatomic ions. On the other hand, ions that consist of several atoms are classified either as molecular or polyatomic ions. They are usually found in nature and occur in a solid, liquid, and gas state.  

What are Isotopes? 

The word isotope of an element refers to the different variations of atoms, and the word has originated from the Greek words ‘isos’ and ‘topos’ meaning, ‘in the same place’. Margaret Todd suggested the term to Frederick Soddy who later, discovered it while studying the decay chains between lead and uranium.  

The Isotopes mainly exist when there is an excessive or inadequate amount of neutrons in an atom. The number of protons in all atoms of a particular element is the same, but the number of neutrons may differ. Due to this, an element has several isotopes that have similar chemical properties and behaviours.    

The Isotopes are significantly categorized into stable and unstable isotopes. Therefore, stable isotopes are naturally the ones that do not decay. On the other hand, unstable isotopes are naturally the ones that decay automatically and emit ionizing radiation. 

Main Differences Between Ions and Isotopes 

  1. The word ion refers to an atom that is either negatively or positively charged. On the other hand, the word isotope of an element refers to the different variations of atoms. 
  2. The term ‘ions’ has been derived from the Greek word ‘ivo’, meaning ‘going’. On the other hand, the term ‘isotope’ has been derived from the Greek words ‘isos’ and ‘topos’ meaning, ‘in the same place’. 
  3. The term ‘ions’ was coined by an English physicist named Michael Faraday. On the other hand, the term ‘isotope’ was first suggested by Margaret Todd to Frederick Soddy. 
  4. Ions may either be molecular or atomic, whereas the isotopes may either be unstable or stable. 
  5. Ions mainly exist when there is an inadequate or excessive amount of electrons in an atom. On the other hand, Isotopes mainly exist when there is an excessive or inadequate amount of neutrons in an atom. 

Conclusion 

Atoms consist of negatively charged electrons surrounding a nucleus in all matter. Protons and neutrons create the nucleus, while electromagnetic forces bind electrons together. The word ion refers to an atom that is either negatively or positively charged, while the isotopes of an element are different variations of its atoms. Despite being linked to the atoms within the element, ions and isotopes differ widely in numerous ways.  

The word ion refers to an atom that is either negatively or positively charged, and the word has originated from a Greek word ‘iov’ meaning ‘going’. The excess or inadequate amount of electrons causes the nucleus to emit an electrical charge as an atom’s total number of protons is not equal to its total number of electrons. They are usually found in nature and occur in a solid, liquid, and gas state. 

The word isotope of an element refers to the different variations of atoms, and the word has originated from the Greek words ‘isos’ and ‘topos’ meaning, ‘in the same place’. The number of protons in all atoms of a particular element is the same, but the number of neutrons may differ. Due to this, an element has several isotopes that have similar chemical properties and behaviours.    

The main difference between ions and isotopes is that they have different categorisations. 

References 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S088329271000140X 
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ja00543a009 
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