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Isotopes of aluminium
Aluminium (Al) has multiple isotopes. Only 27Al (stable isotope) and 26Al (radioactive isotope, t1/2 = 7.2 × 105 y) occur naturally, however 27Al has a natural abundance of 99.9+ %. Standard atomic mass is 26.9815386(8) u. 26Al is produced from argon in the atmosphere by spallation caused by cosmic-ray protons. Aluminium isotopes have found practical application in dating marine sediments, manganese nodules, glacial ice, quartz in rock exposures, and meteorites. The ratio of 26Al to 10Be has been used to study the role of transport, deposition, sediment storage, burial times, and erosion on 105 to 106 year time scales.
Cosmogenic 26Al was first applied in studies of the Moon and meteorites. Meteorite fragments, after departure from their parent bodies, are exposed to intense cosmic-ray bombardment during their travel through space, causing substantial 26Al production. After falling to Earth, atmospheric shielding protects the meteorite fragments from further 26Al production, and its decay can then be used to determine the meteorite's terrestrial age. Meteorite research has also shown that 26Al was relatively abundant at the time of formation of our planetary system. Most meteoriticists believe that the energy released by the decay of 26Al was responsible for the melting and differentiation of some asteroids after their formation 4.55 billion years ago.
Additional recommended knowledge
In the journal Science of 14 January 2005 it was reported that clusters of 13 aluminium atoms (Al13) had been made to behave like an iodine atom; and, 14 aluminium atoms (Al14) behaved like an alkaline earth atom. The researchers also bound 12 iodine atoms to an Al13 cluster to form a new class of polyiodide. This discovery is reported to give rise to the possibility of a new characterisation of the periodic table: superatoms. The research teams were led by Shiv N. Khanna (Virginia Commonwealth University) and A. Welford Castleman Jr (Penn State University).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Isotopes_of_aluminium". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|