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1913, literally "having the same place," introduced by British chemist Frederick Soddy (1877-1956) on suggestion of Margaret Todd, from Greek isos "equal" (see iso-) + topos "place" (see topos); so called because despite the different atomic weights, the various forms of an element occupy the same place on the periodic table.
isotope i·so·tope (ī'sə-tōp')
One of two or more atoms having the same atomic number but different mass numbers.
One of two or more atoms that have the same atomic number (the same number of protons) but a different number of neutrons. Carbon 12, the most common form of carbon, has six protons and six neutrons, whereas carbon 14 has six protons and eight neutrons. Isotopes of a given element typically behave alike chemically. With the exception of hydrogen, elements found on Earth generally have the same number of protons and neutrons; heavier and lighter isotopes (with more or fewer neutrons) are often unstable and undergo radioactive decay.
In physics, different forms of the same element, with nuclei that have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons. Isotopes are distinguished from each other by giving the combined number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. For example, uranium 235 is the isotope of uranium that has 235 protons and neutrons in its nucleus rather than the more commonly occurring 238. All elements have isotopes.
A nearly identical person; near double: Like his isotope Paglia, Rush Limbaugh can be counted on to bury the occasional nugget of truth beneath his avalanche of infuriating extrapolation and phony statistics/It actually IS you. Or an isotope of you. Or a photocopy of you
[1990s+; fr the term denoting nearly identical atoms in a chemical element]