A nuclide is a species of an atom with a specific number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus, for example carbon-13 with 6 protons and 7 neutrons. The nuclide concept (referring to individual nuclear species) emphasizes nuclear properties over chemical properties, whereas the isotope concept (grouping all atoms of each element) emphasizes chemical over nuclear. The neutron number has large effects on nuclear properties, but its effect on chemical properties is negligible for most elements. Even for the lightest elements, whose ratio of neutron number to atomic number varies the most between isotopes, it usually has only a small effect although it matters in some circumstances (for hydrogen, the lightest element, the isotope effect is large enough to affect biology strongly). The term isotopes (originally also isotopic elements, now sometimes isotopic nuclides ) is intended to imply comparison (like synonyms or isomers). For example, the nuclides 126C, 136C, 146C are isotopes (nuclides with the same atomic number but different mass numbers ), but 4018Ar, 4019K, 4020Ca are isobars (nuclides with the same mass number ). However, isotope is the older term and so is better known than nuclide and is still sometimes used in contexts in which nuclide might be more appropriate, such as nuclear technology and nuclear medicine.
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