stable_isotopes

plasmapy.particles.stable_isotopes(argument: Optional[Union[str, numbers.Integral]] = None, unstable: bool = False) → List[str]

Return a list of all stable isotopes of an element, or if no input is provided, a list of all such isotopes for every element.

Parameters
  • argument (int or str) – A string or integer representing an atomic number or element, or a string representing an isotope.

  • unstable (bool) – If set to True, this function will return a list of the unstable isotopes instead of the stable isotopes.

Returns

StableIsotopes – List of all stable isotopes of an element, sorted from lowest mass number. If an element has no stable isotopes, this function returns an empty list.

Return type

list of strings or empty list

Raises

Notes

There are 254 isotopes for which no radioactive decay has been observed. It is possible that some isotopes will be discovered to be unstable but with extremely long half-lives. For example, bismuth-209 was recently discovered to have a half-life of about 1.9e19 years. However, such isotopes can be regarded as virtually stable for most applications.

See also

known_isotopes

returns a list of isotopes that have been discovered.

common_isotopes

returns isotopes with non-zero isotopic abundances.

Examples

>>> stable_isotopes('H')
['H-1', 'D']
>>> stable_isotopes(44)
['Ru-96', 'Ru-98', 'Ru-99', 'Ru-100', 'Ru-101', 'Ru-102', 'Ru-104']
>>> stable_isotopes('beryllium')
['Be-9']
>>> stable_isotopes('Pb-209')
['Pb-204', 'Pb-206', 'Pb-207', 'Pb-208']
>>> stable_isotopes(118)
[]

Find unstable isotopes using the unstable keyword.

>>> stable_isotopes('U', unstable=True)[:5]  # only first five
['U-217', 'U-218', 'U-219', 'U-220', 'U-221']