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I Is there no stable isotope of Tungsten?

  1. Jul 14, 2017 #1
    I was looking at this neat graph of all the isotopes and which ones are stable and how they decay:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...otopes_en.svg/715px-Table_isotopes_en.svg.png

    The black squares represent stable isotopes, and columns that have no such black squares have no stable isotopes. OK, I see Technetium & Prometheum, but I have also noticed such a column for Tungsten. The wiki article on Tungsten isotopes says that alpha decay for some of these is "theoretical". What is this all about?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2017 #2
    I would say it means that there are Tungsten isotopes which have very long half lifes.
    So long that it can't be measured, but not like C12 which is stable as the word stable can mean.
     
  4. Jul 15, 2017 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    There are only 90 stable nuclei. 163 are energetically allowed to decay - sometimes via odd processes like double beta decay - but the decays are so slow that no decay has ever been observed. We call them "observationally stable".
     
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