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Triton nucleus and C14

  1. Mar 18, 2006 #1
    To all: In some detail what makes the tritium isotope of hydrogen radiogenic?

    And since C12 and C13 are both stable what makes C14 unstable?

    Rieman Zeta
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2006 #2


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    In both cases and excess of neutrons!

    T has 1 p and 2n. In the deuteron, the pn combination is fairly stable, but adding one more neutron pnn allows for less stability.

    Similarly for C14, 6p+8n, versus 6p6n or 6p7n, in C12 and C13, respectively.
  4. Mar 18, 2006 #3
    Thank you for your reply. I was hoping for a connection to some underlying principle. For example, if you add the right number of neutrons then stability ensues. The wrong number and you get instability.

    What is the right and wrong #s criterion.

    Perhaps it could be approached through the semi-empirical formula or quark theory?

    The former I have a some and the latter only superficial knowledge.

    Rieman Zeta
  5. Mar 18, 2006 #4


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    Well there is that. There is more or less a stability band. On either side, one finds a radionuclide, but its not very straightforward. To few neutrons will usually lead to positron emission or electron capture. To many neutrons will lead to beta or alpha decay, but alpha decay is restricted to the heavy elements from Bi on up (Bi 210 is the lightest nuclide to undergo spontaneous alpha emission).

    One can find the chart of nuclides here - http://wwwndc.tokai.jaeri.go.jp/CN04/index.html [Broken]

    I'll get back to you on that.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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