Systematics of Alpha-Radioactivity

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Correlations of alpha-decay energies in terms of mass number and atomic number have been made for all of the alpha-emitting species now numbering over 100. For each element isotopes show increase in alpha-energy with decrease in mass number except in the region of 126 neutrons where there is an explainable reversal. This reversal has the effect of creating a region of relatively low alpha-energy and long half-life at low mass numbers for such elements as astatine, emanation, francium, and possibly higher elements as had been noted already for bismuth and polonium. Methods and examples of using alpha-decay data to define ... continued below

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Perlman, I.; Ghiorso, A. & Seaborg, G.T. September 12, 1949.

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Correlations of alpha-decay energies in terms of mass number and atomic number have been made for all of the alpha-emitting species now numbering over 100. For each element isotopes show increase in alpha-energy with decrease in mass number except in the region of 126 neutrons where there is an explainable reversal. This reversal has the effect of creating a region of relatively low alpha-energy and long half-life at low mass numbers for such elements as astatine, emanation, francium, and possibly higher elements as had been noted already for bismuth and polonium. Methods and examples of using alpha-decay data to define the energy surface in the heavy element region are discussed. The regularities in alpha-decay are used for predictions of nuclear properties including prediction of the beta-stable nuclides among the heavy elements. The half-life vs. energy correlations show that the even-even nuclides conform well with existing alpha-decay theory, but all nuclear types with odd nucleons show prohibited decay. The reason for this prohibition is not found in spin changes in the alpha-emission but in the assembly of the components of the alpha particle, and this theory is discussed further in terms of observations made on nuclides having two or more alpha-groups. Using most of the even-even nuclei to define 'normal nuclear radius' calculations are now able to show the shrinkage in the regions of lead and of 126 neutrons to amount to about 10%. The much greater change in 'effective radius' for bismuth isotopes can be dissociated into the effects of odd nucleons superimposed on the actual decrease in nuclear radius. The simple expression r = 1.48 A{sup 1/3} {center_dot} 10{sup -13} cm seems to fit the data for the even-even nuclei outside of the region of 126 neutrons better than more complex functions.

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  • Report No.: UCRL--446
  • Report No.: AECU-634
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/932807 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 932807
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897545

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  • September 12, 1949

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 8:02 p.m.

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Perlman, I.; Ghiorso, A. & Seaborg, G.T. Systematics of Alpha-Radioactivity, report, September 12, 1949; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897545/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.