Uranium-214- Lightest form of Uranium

The scientists have recently created lightest form of Uranium. It is called the Uranium-214. The discovery reveals more information about an alpha particle. The alpha particle are those particles that gets ejected from radioactive elements as they decay.

About Uranium-214

This isotope of Uranium has a greater number of neutrons than protons. The neutrons have mass. However, Uranium-214 found recently is much lighter than the other common Uranium isotopes. This includes Uranium-235 as well. Uranium-235 is the most commonly used isotope. It has 51 extra neutrons.

Uranium-214 was created at the Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou, China.

It had a half-life of just half a milli-second. The half life of a radioactive sample is the time taken for half of the radioactive sample to decay. The half life of Uranium-238 is 4.5 billion years. This is the almost equal to the age of the earth.

Alpha Decay in Uranium-214

The new isotope found also showed unique behaviours during its decay. This new finding will help scientists understand radioactive process called Alpha decay.

In alpha decay, the atomic nucleus loses two protons and two neutrons. They are collectively called alpha particle. Scientists are yet to find the answers on how these alpha particles are ejected.

How was Uranium-214 created?

A beam of Argon was projected on Tungsten inside Gas-filled recoil separator. The researchers then added protons and neutrons to the material through a LASER beam to create Uranium-214.

Nuclear force in Uranium-214

The scientists found that protons and neutrons of Uranium-214 interacted much more strongly than in isotopes with similar number of neutrons and protons. In other words, nuclear force in Uranium-214 was greater than the nuclear force in other isotopes.




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