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Isotopes are distinguished from each other by giving the combined number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.

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In historical geology, the primary methods of absolute dating involve using the radioactive decay of elements trapped in rocks or minerals, including isotope systems from very young (radiocarbon dating with Radiometric dating is based on the known and constant rate of decay of radioactive isotopes into their radiogenic daughter isotopes.

Particular isotopes are suitable for different applications due to the type of atoms present in the mineral or other material and its approximate age.

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (ī'sə-tōp') One of two or more atoms that have the same atomic number (the same number of protons) but a different number of neutrons.

Carbon 12, the most common form of carbon, has six protons and six neutrons, whereas carbon 14 has six protons and eight neutrons.

Isotopes of a given element typically behave alike chemically.

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