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Joined: 26 Oct 2018
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16 May 2019, 11:33 pm

Favorite isotope, anyone?

I like Polonium 212, Helium 4, and Thorium 232.

"The island. Life. Death and decay that feeds new life. Warmth. Cold. Peace. Violence. And between it all, balance. An energy. A Force. And inside me, that same force."

-Rey, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

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Joined: 25 Jun 2012
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Posts: 98

20 May 2019, 5:11 am

Potassium 40. It makes sensors go bling-bling in ports when there's banana cargo. So they need to inspect bananas.
(weird answer, I know :D )


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Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 64
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20 May 2019, 4:15 pm


for such a friggin weird question that's a rather good, and interesting, and relatively "normal" answer. :lol:

Bananas are rich in potassium. And I suppose that they are SO rich in it that even a rare isotope of potassium ends up being shipped in large quantity. A ten thousand ton freighter bringing us bananas in bulk from ….a banana republic Central America might have one banana in a million that has trace amounts of potassium 40. But such a ship would half of million forty pound boxes of bananas. So the ship would hafta set off alarms.

Interesting fact that has implication for smuggling drugs, and terrorist bombs.

Your question even merits a musical soundtrack while we ponder the implications.


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Joined: 6 May 2008
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Location: Stendec

20 May 2019, 4:21 pm

Oxygen 16, 17 or 18.

I could die without it.

Remain Calm!
Hug a Bawapakerwa-a-a-awapawab!

jimmy m

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Joined: 30 Jun 2018
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20 May 2019, 6:07 pm

The word alchemist comes from alchemy, which has origins in the Greek word khemeia, meaning "art of transmuting metals." Active since ancient times, alchemists could be considered very early chemists because of their work trying to transform base metals into gold.

Most people scoff at the idea of turning lead into gold and transmutation. But a type of alchemy is going on all around us. Our atmosphere is composed of primarily Oxygen and Nitrogen. Particles with almost light speed called galactic cosmic rays, which originated from massive supernova explosions, hit our atmosphere and transmute these elements.

Nitrogen becomes a radioactive form of Carbon-14
Oxygen and to some extent Nitrogen becomes a radioactive from of Beryllium-10

So those are my two favorite forms of isotopes. They are generally used in assessing age, such as in carbon dating.