Cosmogenic radionuclide dating
Each atomic number identifies a specific element, but not the isotope; an atom of a given element may have a wide range in its number of neutrons.
The number of nucleons (both protons and neutrons) in the nucleus is the atom's mass number, and each isotope of a given element has a different mass number.
Many other stable nuclides are in theory energetically susceptible to other known forms of decay, such as alpha decay or double beta decay, but no decay products have yet been observed, and so these isotopes are said to be "observationally stable".helium-3, helium-4, carbon-12, carbon-14, uranium-235 and uranium-239). "C" for carbon, standard notation (now known as "AZE notation" because A is the mass number, Z the atomic number, and E for element) is to indicate the mass number (number of nucleons) with a superscript at the upper left of the chemical symbol and to indicate the atomic number with a subscript at the lower left (e.g. The letter m is sometimes appended after the mass number to indicate a nuclear isomer, a metastable or energetically-excited nuclear state (as opposed to the lowest-energy ground state), for example as uranium two-thirty-five (American English) or uranium-two-three-five (British) instead of 235-92-uranium.Some isotopes/nuclides are radioactive, and are therefore referred to as radioisotopes or radionuclides, whereas others have never been observed to decay radioactively and are referred to as stable isotopes or stable nuclides.The predicted half-lives for these nuclides often greatly exceed the estimated age of the universe, and in fact there are also 27 known radionuclides (see primordial nuclide) with half-lives longer than the age of the universe.Adding in the radioactive nuclides that have been created artificially, there are 3,339 currently known nuclides.