rubidium has2 common isotopes, 85Rb and 87Rb if the abundance of 85Rbis 72,2%

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and the abundanceof 87 Rb is27.8% what is the average atomic mass of rubidium?

Sep 25th, 2015

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isotopes are atoms that have the same number of protons but different number of neutrons hence have different mass numbers.

to calculate the average atomic mass of an element, multiply the mass of each isotope by its natural abundance, expressed as a decimal and then add the products.

for example for the above question on rubidium, the average atomic mass is:

=(85*72.2/100) + (87*27.8/100)

=(85*0.722) +(87*0.278)

61.37+24.186

=85.556 amu

NB: the average atomic mass will always be close to the element with the highest percentage abandance

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Sep 25th, 2015

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