Chemguide: Support for CIE A level Chemistry

Learning outcomes 2.2(a), 2.2(b) and 2.2(c)

The first of these statements is essentially a repeat of learning outcomes in section 2.1, and I am not going to add anything extra about that. The second and third deal with isotopes, although the third part is again largely a repeat of earlier material.

Before you go on, you should find and read the statements in your copy of the syllabus.


You will find a short piece about isotopes about a third of the way down the page a simple view of atomic structure, and that is really all you need.

If you are asked to define isotopes you should include the facts that:

  • They are atoms of the same element, having the same proton (or atomic) number

  • but with different nucleon (or mass) numbers

  • because they have different numbers of neutrons.

Working out the numbers of protons, neutrons and electrons in a given isotope is no different from any other similar sum. (See learning outcome 2.1(d).)

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© Jim Clark 2012 (last modified March 2014)