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i am going to guess: iso-pentane is a structural isomer. all isomers have the same molecular formula. it's the definition.
Isomers have the same chemical formula but are structurally different.
different to each other*
azteck gave the definition of "structural isomers". there are other types of isomers that have the same bonding structures but differ in other ways. stereoisomers come to mind as another common class of isomers.
We don't want to give unnecessary extraneous information to students if possible. It usually confuses them. Better to just be straight forward with what the question is trying to ask them, so that they get the hang of answering the question instead of giving extraneous information i.e. Giving information about other classes of isomers etc.
@Azteck: true, but i commented because it's *not* true that "Isomers are structurally different". as far as i understand, geometric isomers are *not* structurally different, according to the usual definition of "structural" anyway.
Yep, I understand. But so far, based on the question given, I think they should take it as that definition and when it comes time for them to go a step further, you can tweak the definition as you go along. That's how I learn. But it can be different for other people that they want the "precise definition" which I agree as well. But whatever works for you is fine by me.
hmm... well... i don't want to turn this into a flame war but i respectfully disagree. here is an example: there are several types of penguins. some live near the south pole, but some live in warmer climates, even the tropics i heard. to say "isomers are structurally different" is like to say "penguins live near the south pole". would you call that tweaking a definition? in my silly opinion: "isomerism" is a type of classification. if there are types of isomers that are structurally identical, then it's just a bit sly to say that they are identical and then modify the definition later.
It's alright, everybody is entitled to their opinion. My type of learning bodes well with maths and most of the times, the mathematics faculty don't bode well with the science faculty. It's like in maths, where I learn how to differentiate and then in integration I learn how to anti-differentiate. But there comes a time when anti-differentiating does not work anymore in certain integrals, so you have to use something else, like partial integration, etc.
I hope that clears a bit of what I'm trying to say. But if you still disagree with what I'm saying, then I'm not sure how I can give you my perspective because that's all I got. I'm more of a maths man, so I use a particular learning method and I try to apply it to all other areas, like here. Sorry if this is a bit weird for you about my learning methods, but it's worked for as long as I can remember, so there's not much stopping me from continuing.