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What equipment is used to do transmutation and how do they use it?

  1. Jun 18, 2012 #1
    Is it expensive?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2012 #2
    Do you mean transmutation of one element into another? Typically this uses a target material which is inserted into a tube that moves the target into the middle of a reactor so it can be neutron activated.
  4. Jun 18, 2012 #3
    Yes exactly. Does this process change the number of protons in the atom for it's known that the atomic number characterizes the element.
  5. Jun 18, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, if you add one or more neutrons to a nucleus it might undergo beta decay and become a different element.
    It is not expensive to generate "some" new nuclei, but it is expensive to produce macroscopic amounts. In addition, you usually get a composition of some stable and some radioactive isotopes. For a practical application, you might have to separate them, which is expensive, too.
  6. Jun 18, 2012 #5


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    To put "not expensive" in perspective here, you still need the reactor or particle accelerator. This is not a workroom table experiment.
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