Difference Between Isotopes and Isobars

Main Difference

The main difference between the isotopes and the isobars is that the isotopes are the atoms of the same element having the similar atomic number but the different mass number, whereas the isobars are the elements having the similar atomic masses but different proton number.

Isotopes vs. Isobars

Isotopes are the atoms of the same element having the similar proton number but the different mass number, whereas the isobars are the element having the same mass number but different proton number. Isotopes are atoms of the elements that have different atomic structures, whereas the isobars are the chemical elements that have the same atomic masses. Isotopes are the same elements in different shapes, whereas the isobars are the different elements. Isotopes have some properties that are the same such as chemical properties, whereas the isobars have some properties that are different such as chemical properties. Isotopes have different physical properties, whereas the isobars have similar physical properties. Isotopes have the same number of electrons, whereas the isobars have a different number of electrons. Isotopes have the same electronic configuration, whereas the isobars have a different electronic configuration. The isotopes can be separated by means of physical properties, whereas the isobars can be separated through chemical properties.

Comparison Chart

IsotopesIsobars
Isotopes are the atoms of the same element having the similar proton number but a different mass number.Isobars are the element having the same mass number but different proton number.
Atomic Number
Have the same atomic numberHave a different atomic number
Mass Number
Have a different mass numberHave the same mass number
Physical Properties
Have different physical propertiesHave same physical properties
Chemical properties
Have the same chemical propertiesHave different chemical properties
Electron Number
Have the same electron numberHave different electron number
Separation
Can be separated by physical meansCan be separated by chemical means
Electronic Configuration
Have same electronic configurationHave different electronic configuration
Chemical Elements
Same chemical elementsDifferent chemical elements
Atomic Structure
Different atomic structureSame atomic structure

What are Isotopes?

Isotopes are types of atoms of an element that always have the same proton number but a do not have the same number of nucleons in the periodic table. Isotopes have a different structure of the atom. Isotopes have an equal number of electrons. They have exactly the same place in the modern periodic table. They have different half-lives. Isotopes have different physical properties. But they also have some properties that are similar such as chemical properties. The isotopes can be separated by physical means by using the mass-spectrograph. Isotopes also have a similar electronic configuration. But they also do not have the same number of neutrons. Isotopes also have a similar and equal number of electrons and protons. Isotopes are also the same kinds of chemical elements. Isotopes have similar chemical properties because chemical properties depend upon the electron number and electron numbers are the same in isotopes. Isotopes have different physical properties because physical properties depend upon the mass number and neutron numbers and neutron numbers and nucleon numbers are different in isotopes. This unique property is also very useful for the separation of isotopes. Isotopes are identified by the mass number or nucleon number. There are many different isotopes that occur in nature or can be produced by artificial disintegration.

Example

Three isotopes of hydrogen 1H1,1H2,1H3

What are Isobars?

Isobars are the elements having the same number of atomic masses but a do not have the same number of protons. Isobars have the same structure of the atom. Isobars do not have the same number of electrons. They also have a different position in the periodic table. They have different half-lives. Isobars have some properties that are similar such as physical properties. But isobars have some properties that are not same such chemical properties. Isobars can be separated through chemical properties. Isobars also have a different electronic configuration in the periodic table. They also have different rates of chemical reactions. Isobars may or may not have the same neutron number. The number of electrons and neutrons is different in isobars. Isobars have the same type of elements. They have different chemical properties because chemical properties depend upon the electron number and we know that the electron number is different in isobars. The physical properties are the same in isobars because the physical properties depend upon the nucleon number and neutron number and we know that the nucleon number is the same in isobars. So, the unique property of different chemical properties is very useful in the separation of isobars. As isotopes are identified by the mass number, the same isobars are identified by the proton number. Isobars are also in nature and can be produced artificially. As they are different kinds of chemical elements, they have different position in the periodic table.

Example

Some elements are termed as isobars due to the same number of mass or nucleon such as Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Iron. They have the same atomic mass number of 64.

Key Difference

  1. Isotopes are the atoms of the same elements having the same atomic number, whereas the isobars have a different atomic number.
  2. Isotopes have a different mass number, whereas the isobars have the same mass number.
  3. Isotopes are the same chemical elements, whereas the isobars are the different chemical elements.
  4. Isotopes also have a similar electronic configuration in the periodic table, whereas the isobars have a different electronic configuration.
  5. Isotopes have the same electron number, whereas the isobars have a different electron number.
  6. Isotopes have the same position in the periodic table, whereas the isobars have a different position in the periodic table.
  7. Isotopes have the same type of chemical properties, whereas the isobars do not have the same type of chemical properties.
  8. Isotopes have different physical properties, whereas the isobars have the same physical properties.
  9. Isotopes have different atomic structures, whereas the isobars have the same atomic structure.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the isotopes and isobars are terms of the periodic table. Isotopes are the atoms of the elements having the same atomic number, whereas the isobars have the same mass number. Isotopes have a different mass number, whereas the isobars have a different atomic number. Isotopes have the same number of electrons and protons, whereas the isobars have the same number of neutrons.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

View all posts by Harlon Moss