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How to Tell if an element is radioactive

  1. Jan 23, 2007 #1
    My teacher mentioned that if an element has a neutron to proton ratio of 1.2 or higher than the element is radioactive. He also said there is on exception to this when the N/P ratio is lower than 1.2, but i didnt understand him. I cannot find this one exception in my book or on the internet. Can someone please help me here?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2007 #2


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  4. Jan 23, 2007 #3


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    There are many synthetic isotopes with n/p < 1.2 that are beta emitters (eg: Cl-36, P-32). I don't know of any naturally occuring radionuclides with n/p < 1.2

    Perhaps the folks over a Nuclear Engineering will have a better idea?
  5. Jan 23, 2007 #4
    Yes, Yes that was it. I believe he said that if the isotope is synthetic it is radioactive. But, doesn't that meen all synthetic isotopes are radioactive. And how can i tell if a certain isotope is synthetic...? do you just have to know them or is there a trick.

    Pardon my lack of chemistry knowledge, I am just starting.
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