Francium and Astatine

562 views

Why are the elements Francium and Astatine so rare? Why does it deteriorate so quickly? Any other interesting Francium or Astatine trivia?

In: Chemistry

Mainly because like all heavy elements (anything past bismuth) their nuclei are so large that they are not stable and fall apart into smaller, more stable elements. Most notably a small helium nucleus is likely to form within the larger nuclear and be ejected. Most astatine decays too fast for it to be useful for anything and francium is so violently reactive with water that even before it has a chance to decay it will probably react with the moisture in the air

Francium is very radioactive and has a 22 minute half life. That means every day a given sample halves itself 65 times and you’re left with 1/(2^65 ) as much as you had yesterday.

That’s roughly 1/32,000,000,000,000,000,000th.