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There are also a number of unstable natural isotopes arising from the decay of primordial uranium and thorium. At present there are up to 200 radioisotopes used on a regular basis, and most must be produced artificially. The most common is by neutron activation in a nuclear reactor.
This involves the capture of a neutron by the nucleus of an atom resulting in an excess of neutrons (neutron rich).
Uses of stable isotopes include the custom synthesis of new and complex labeled compounds to use in agriculture, biology, chemistry, drug testing, geology, health, nutrition, physics as well as diagnostic techniques in medicine.
» View Examples of Stable Isotope Compounds Many of the chemical elements have a number of isotopes.
The periodic table of the elements assigns one place to every atomic number, and each of these places is labeled with the common name of the element, as, for example, calcium, radon, or uranium.In most cases, the information is used by physicians to make a quick, accurate diagnosis of the patient's illness.The thyroid, bones, heart, liver and many other organs can be easily imaged, and disorders in their function revealed.The great importance of the atomic number derives from the observation that all atoms with the same atomic number have nearly, if not precisely, identical chemical properties.A large collection of atoms with the same atomic number constitutes a sample of an element.