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Atoms of the same element having the same atomic number, but different mass numbers.


Atoms of the same element which have different weights due to a different number of neutrons, but the same number of protons, in the nucleus.  The isotopes of an element are identical in chemical properties and in all physical properties accept those determined by the mass of the atom.

Why are isotopes important?

Environmental isotopes are important for investigating the origins of water in the subsurface, mixing of groundwater and surface water and therefore surface-groundwater interaction.