What are Isobars?

Definition of Isobar

Isobars are defined as

The atoms that have same number of nucleons. Isobars of different chemical elements have different atomic number but have the same mass number.

Alfred Walter Stewart in 1918 suggested the term isobars. It is derived from the Greek word in which isos means equal and baros means weight.

Example of Isobar

Argon, potassium, and calcium having atoms of the same mass number 40.

18Ar40, 19K40, 20Ca40 where 18, 19 and 20 shown as subscripts are the atomic numbers of the three elements respectively are isobars. Since the atomic numbers are different their chemical properties are also different. The structure of argon, potassium, and calcium are given below.

Isobar examples

Uses of Isobars

Following are the some of the uses of isobars:

  • Nuclear reactors use isobars of uranium
  • For the treatment of cancer, isobars of cobalt are used
  • Isobars of iodine are used in the treatment of goiter

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