RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS IN THE STANDARD ATOMIC WEIGHTS TABLE

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In the 1949 Report of the Atomic Weights Commission, a series of new elements were added to the Atomic Weights Table. Since these elements had been produced in the laboratory and were not discovered in nature, the atomic weight value of these artificial products would depend upon the production method. Since atomic weight is a property of an element as it occurs in nature, it would be incorrect to assign an atomic weight value to that element. As a result of that discussion, the Commission decided to provide only the mass number of the most stable (or longest-lived) known isotope ... continued below

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Holden, N.E.; Holden, N. & Holden,N.E. July 27, 2011.

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In the 1949 Report of the Atomic Weights Commission, a series of new elements were added to the Atomic Weights Table. Since these elements had been produced in the laboratory and were not discovered in nature, the atomic weight value of these artificial products would depend upon the production method. Since atomic weight is a property of an element as it occurs in nature, it would be incorrect to assign an atomic weight value to that element. As a result of that discussion, the Commission decided to provide only the mass number of the most stable (or longest-lived) known isotope as the number to be associated with these entries in the Atomic Weights Table. As a function of time, the mass number associated with various elements has changed as longer-lived isotopes of a particular element has been found in nature, or as improved half-life values of an element's isotopes might cause a shift in the longest-lived isotope from one mass to another. In the 1957 Report of the Atomic Weights Commission, it was decided to discontinue the listing of the mass number in the Atomic Weights Table on the grounds that the kind of information supplied by the mass number is inconsistent with the primary purpose of the Table, i.e., to provide accurate values of 'these constants' for use in various chemical calculations. In addition to the Table of Atomic Weights, the Commission included an auxiliary Table of Radioactive Elements for the first time, where the entry would be the isotope of that element which was the most stable, i.e., the one with the longest known half-life. In their 1973 Report, the Commission noted that the users of the main Table of Atomic Weights were dissatisfied with the omission of values for some elements in that Table and it was decided to reintroduce the mass number for the radioactive elements into the main Table. In their 1983 Report, the Commission decided that radioactive elements were considered to lack a characteristic terrestrial isotopic composition, from which an atomic weight value could be calculated to five or more figure accuracy, without prior knowledge of the sample involved. These elements were again listed in the Atomic Weights Table with no further information, i.e., with no mass number or atomic weight value. For the elements, which have no stable characteristic terrestrial isotopic composition, the data on the half-lives and the relative atomic masses for the nuclides of interest for those elements have been evaluated. The values of the half-lives with their uncertainties are listed in the table. The uncertainties are given for the last digit quoted of the half-life and are given in parentheses. A half-life entry for the Table having a value and an uncertainty of 7 {+-} 3 is listed in the half-life column as 7 (3). The criteria to include data in this Table, is to be the same as it has been for over sixty years. It is the same criteria, which are used for all data that are evaluated for inclusion in the Standard Table of Atomic Weights. If a report of data is published in a peer-reviewed journal, that data is evaluated and considered for inclusion in the appropriate table of the biennial report of the Atomic Weights Commission. As better data becomes available in the future, the information that is contained in either of the Tables of Standard Atomic Weights or in the Table of Radioactive Elements may be modified. It should be noted that the appearance of any datum in the Table of the Radioactive Elements is merely for the purposes of calculating an atomic mass value for any sample of a radioactive material, which might have a variety of isotopic compositions and it has no implication as to the priority for claiming discovery of a given element and is not intended to. The atomic mass values have been taken primarily from the 2003 Atomic Mass Table. Mass values for those radioisotopes that do not appear in the 2003 Atomic mass Table have been taken from preliminary data of the Atomic Mass Data Center. Most of the quoted half-lives.

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  • 46th IUPAC General Assembly; San Juan, Puerto Rico; 20110727 through 20110805

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  • Report No.: BNL--96213-2011-CP
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-98CH10886
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1027441
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc832866

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  • July 27, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • July 21, 2016, 7:04 p.m.

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Holden, N.E.; Holden, N. & Holden,N.E. RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS IN THE STANDARD ATOMIC WEIGHTS TABLE, article, July 27, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832866/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.