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The island of stability

Dear Reader,

I hope that you are sitting comfortably and I will begin, many years ago in a star ordinary light elements made by fusion such as iron were subject to neutron bombardment with a low neutron flux (s process). These elements then underwent beta decay to form the heavier but stable elements such as silver. Some times a star would die in a supernova where ordinary elements would be transformed by rapid neutron bombardment, so rapid that no time was left for beta decay between the neutron captures (r process) this then allowed the nucleus to jump the mass gap at the end of the mainland of non radioactivity and then reach the island of stability.

Some of these atoms reached very high Z (proton number) elements such as plutonium and curium which can undergo fission. The fission products cover the range from about zinc through to the mid to late lanthanides, after the neutron rich fission products decayed back down into stable nuclides they were then ready to do it all over again in another star.

Thus it continued for many millions of years until humans choose to harness the atom and put it to work, some time during all the scientific work to do this someone noticed that an island of stability existed. I am in the process of plotting pictures of the island of stability.


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