Definition of nuclide re metastable states

In summary, the isotope of Technetium with a mass number of 99 is denoted as Tc-99, while its metastable state is denoted as Tc-99m. It is debated whether these are two different nuclides or just two states of the same nuclide, as the definition of a nuclide may take into account both mass number and atomic number, as well as energy state. The exact definition of a nuclide is still ambiguous and may vary depending on the context it is being used in.
  • #1
fsroberts
2
0
The ground state of the isotope of Technetium that has a mass number of 99 is denoted by Tc-99. The metastable state is denoted by Tc-99m. Are these considered to be two different nuclides, or just two states of the same nuclide?
(I suspect that the definition of a nuclide takes into account not only mass number and atomic number, but energy state as well.)

For that matter, are they considered to be the same isotope or two different isotopes?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
usually, a metastable state is a non-equilibrium state that can exist for a 'considerable' amount of time. it is indeed some state of one specific atom.

If you look at energy levels an excited atom has an electron from a lower level that has jumped to a higher level. now this is a non-equilibrium state because the atom will de-excite in order to lower the potential energy (nature is as lazy as possible). Now, in QM, you can prove that in some cases this electron does not go from high level A to low level B. When making the transition it can remain on an intermediate level C (A>C>B). Now if the electron remains in C longer then it has remained in A, then this C level corresponds to an intermediate metastable stage.

Something like that happens in lasers in order to obtain population inversion.

marlon
 
  • #3
Exact definition of nuclide

The term 'metastability' is used in different contexts e.g. atomic energy levels, nuclear energy levels (which is what I am alluding to) and some electronic circuits.

I would just like to firm up on what is the precise definition of 'nuclide'? Is it sufficient to define a nuclide in terms of just its mass number and atomic number, or does one sometimes have to refer to energy states in the definition?

In other words, is the metastable {99m,27)Tc thought of as being the same nuclide as {99,27)Tc, or is it considered to be be a different nuclide because of its different energy state?

Basically, i am trying to get at the exact definition of a nuclide, because there seems to me to be an ambiguity in the definitions I've come across on the web.
 

Related to Definition of nuclide re metastable states

1. What is a nuclide?

A nuclide is an atom that is characterized by a specific number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus. It is often represented by its atomic symbol, such as 14C for the nuclide carbon-14.

2. What are metastable states?

Metastable states are excited states of a nuclide that have a longer lifetime than other excited states. This means that they remain in this state for a longer period of time before decaying to a lower energy state.

3. How are metastable states formed?

Metastable states can be formed through various processes, such as nuclear reactions or radioactive decay. They can also be created in particle accelerators, where high energy particles collide and produce excited states of nuclides.

4. What is the significance of studying nuclide re metastable states?

Studying nuclide re metastable states can provide valuable insights into the structure and properties of atomic nuclei. It can also have practical applications in fields such as nuclear energy and medicine, where knowledge of nuclide behavior is crucial.

5. How are metastable states identified and characterized?

Metastable states can be identified through various techniques, such as spectroscopy, which measures the energy levels of nuclides. They can also be characterized by their half-life, spin, and other properties that distinguish them from other excited states or stable nuclides.

Similar threads

  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
2
Views
874
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
12
Views
3K
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
7
Views
1K
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
11
Views
4K
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Other Physics Topics
2
Replies
56
Views
5K
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
9
Views
4K
  • Set Theory, Logic, Probability, Statistics
Replies
4
Views
544
Replies
2
Views
684
Back
Top