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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Potassium (K) has 25 known isotopes from


32
K to
56
K. Three isotopes occur naturally: stable
39
K (93.3%) and
41
K (6.7%), and the long-lived radioisotope
40
K (0.012%).
The standard atomic mass is 39.0983(1) u.
Naturally occurring radioactive
40
K decays to stable
40
Ar (10.72% of decays) by electron capture or positron
emission (giving it the longest known positron-emitter nuclide half-life). Alternately, and most of the time
(89.28%), it decays to stable
40
Ca by beta decay.
40
K has a half-life of 1.24810
9
years. The long half life of this
primordial radioisotope is caused by a highly spin-forbidden transition:
40
K has a nuclear spin of 4, while both of
its decay daughters are even-even isotopes with spins of 0.
40
K occurs in natural potassium (and thus in some commercial salt substitutes) in sufficient quantity that large bags
of those substitutes can be used as a radioactive source for classroom demonstrations. In healthy animals and
people,
40
K represents the largest source of radioactivity, greater even than
14
C. In a human body of 70 kg mass,
about 4,400 nuclei of
40
K decay per second.
[1]
The decay of
40
K to
40
Ar enables a commonly used method for dating rocks. The conventional K-Ar dating
method depends on the assumption that the rocks contained no argon at the time of formation and that all the
subsequent radiogenic argon (i.e.,
40
Ar) was quantitatively retained. Minerals are dated by measurement of the
concentration of potassium and the amount of radiogenic
40
Ar that has accumulated.
All other potassium isotopes have half-lives under a day, most under a minute. The least stable are
33
K and
34
K,
both with half-lives shorter than 25 nanoseconds. The half-life of
32
K is unknown.
Outside of its use in dating
40
K has been used extensively as tracers in studies of weathering. Various potassium
isotopes also been used for nutrient cycling studies because potassium is a macronutrient required for life.
Isotopes of potassium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_potassium
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nuclide
symbol
Z(p) N(n)

isotopic mass (u)

half-life
decay
mode(s)
[2]
daughter
isotope(s)
[n 1]
nuclear
spin
representative
isotopic
composition
(mole fraction)
excitation energy
32
K
19 13 32.02192(54)# unknown p
31
Ar
1+#
32m
K
950(100)# keV unknown 4+#
33
K
19 14 33.00726(21)# <25 ns p
32
Ar
(3/2+)#
34
K
19 15 33.99841(32)# <25 ns p
33
Ar
1+#
35
K
19 16 34.988010(21) 178(8) ms

+
(99.63%)
35
Ar
3/2+

+
, p (.37%)
34
Cl
36
K
19 17 35.981292(8) 342(2) ms

+
(99.94%)
36
Ar
2+

+
, p (.048%)
35
Cl

+
, (.012%)
32
S
37
K
19 18 36.97337589(10) 1.226(7) s

+ 37
Ar
3/2+
38
K
19 19 37.9690812(5) 7.636(18) min

+ 38
Ar
3+
38m1
K
130.50(28) keV 924.2(3) ms 0+
38m2
K
3458.0(2) keV 21.98(11) s (7+),(5+)
39
K
19 20 38.96370668(20) Stable 3/2+ 0.932581(44)
40
K
[n 2][n 3]
19 21 39.96399848(21)
1.248(3)10
9
a

-
(89.28%)
40
Ca
4-
1.17(1)10
4
EC (10.72%)
40
Ar

+
(0.001%)
[3]
40m
K
1643.639(11) keV 336(12) ns 0+
41
K
19 22 40.96182576(21) Stable 3/2+ 0.067302(44)
42
K
19 23 41.96240281(24) 12.360(12) h

- 42
Ca
2-
43
K
19 24 42.960716(10) 22.3(1) h

- 43
Ca
3/2+
44
K
19 25 43.96156(4) 22.13(19) min

- 44
Ca
2-
45
K
19 26 44.960699(11) 17.3(6) min

- 45
Ca
3/2+
46
K
19 27 45.961977(17) 105(10) s

- 46
Ca
2(-)
47
K
19 28 46.961678(9) 17.50(24) s

- 47
Ca
1/2+
48
K
19 29 47.965514(26) 6.8(2) s

-
(98.86%)
48
Ca
(2-)

-
, n (1.14%)
47
Ca
49
K
19 30 48.96745(8) 1.26(5) s

-
, n (86%)
48
Ca
(3/2+)

-
(14%)
49
Ca
50
K
19 31 49.97278(30) 472(4) ms

-
(71%)
50
Ca
(0-,1,2-)

-
, n (29%)
49
Ca
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51
K
19 32 50.97638(54)# 365(5) ms

-
(53%)
51
Ca
3/2+#

-
, n (47%)
50
Ca
52
K
19 33 51.98261(75)# 105(5) ms

-
, n (64%)
51
Ca
(2-)#

-
, 2n (21%)
50
Ca

-
(15%)
52
Ca
53
K
19 34 52.98712(75)# 30(5) ms

-
, n (67%)
52
Ca
(3/2+)#

-
, 2n (17%)
51
Ca

-
(16%)
53
Ca
54
K
19 35 53.99420(97)# 10(5) ms

-
(>99.9%)
54
Ca
2-#

-
, n (<.1%)
53
Ca
55
K
19 36 54.99971(107)# 3# ms

- 55
Ca
3/2+#

-
, n
54
Ca
^ Bold for stable isotopes, bold italic for nearly-stable isotopes (half-life longer than the age of the universe) 1.
^ Used in potassium-argon dating 2.
^ Primordial radionuclide 3.
Notes
Values marked # are not purely derived from experimental data, but at least partly from systematic trends.
Spins with weak assignment arguments are enclosed in parentheses.
Uncertainties are given in concise form in parentheses after the corresponding last digits. Uncertainty values
denote one standard deviation, except isotopic composition and standard atomic mass from IUPAC which
use expanded uncertainties.
Nuclide masses are given by IUPAP Commission on Symbols, Units, Nomenclature, Atomic Masses and
Fundamental Constants (SUNAMCO).
Isotope abundances are given by IUPAC Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights.
^ "Radioactive Human Body" (http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~scdiroff/lds/QuantumRelativity/RadioactiveHumanBody
/RadioactiveHumanBody.html). Retrieved 2011-05-18.
1.
^ http://www.nucleonica.net/unc.aspx 2.
^ Engelkemeir, D.W.; Flynn, K.F.; Glendenin, L.E. (1962). "Positron Emission in the Decay of K40" (http://link.aps.org
/doi/10.1103/PhysRev.126.1818). Physical Review 126 (5): 1818. Bibcode:1962PhRv..126.1818E
(http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1962PhRv..126.1818E). doi:10.1103/PhysRev.126.1818 (http://dx.doi.org
/10.1103%2FPhysRev.126.1818).
3.
Isotope masses from:
G. Audi, A. H. Wapstra, C. Thibault, J. Blachot and O. Bersillon (2003). "The NUBASE evaluation of
nuclear and decay properties" (http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/amdc/nubase/Nubase2003.pdf). Nuclear
Physics A 729: 3128. Bibcode:2003NuPhA.729....3A (http://adsabs.harvard.edu
/abs/2003NuPhA.729....3A). doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2003.11.001 (http://dx.doi.org
/10.1016%2Fj.nuclphysa.2003.11.001).
Isotopic compositions and standard atomic masses from:
J. R. de Laeter, J. K. Bhlke, P. De Bivre, H. Hidaka, H. S. Peiser, K. J. R. Rosman and P. D. P.
Isotopes of potassium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_potassium
3 of 4 10.2.2014 15:49
Taylor (2003). "Atomic weights of the elements. Review 2000 (IUPAC Technical Report)"
(http://www.iupac.org/publications/pac/75/6/0683/pdf/). Pure and Applied Chemistry 75 (6):
683800. doi:10.1351/pac200375060683 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1351%2Fpac200375060683).
M. E. Wieser (2006). "Atomic weights of the elements 2005 (IUPAC Technical Report)"
(http://iupac.org/publications/pac/78/11/2051/pdf/). Pure and Applied Chemistry 78 (11): 20512066.
doi:10.1351/pac200678112051 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1351%2Fpac200678112051). Lay summary
(http://old.iupac.org/news/archives/2005/atomic-weights_revised05.html).
Half-life, spin, and isomer data selected from the following sources. See editing notes on this article's talk
page.
G. Audi, A. H. Wapstra, C. Thibault, J. Blachot and O. Bersillon (2003). "The NUBASE evaluation of
nuclear and decay properties" (http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/amdc/nubase/Nubase2003.pdf). Nuclear
Physics A 729: 3128. Bibcode:2003NuPhA.729....3A (http://adsabs.harvard.edu
/abs/2003NuPhA.729....3A). doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2003.11.001 (http://dx.doi.org
/10.1016%2Fj.nuclphysa.2003.11.001).
National Nuclear Data Center. "NuDat 2.1 database" (http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/nudat2/). Brookhaven
National Laboratory. Retrieved September 2005.
N. E. Holden (2004). "Table of the Isotopes". In D. R. Lide. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and
Physics (85th ed.). CRC Press. Section 11. ISBN 978-0-8493-0485-9.
Isotopes of argon Isotopes of potassium
Isotopes of
calcium
Table of nuclides
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Categories: Potassium Isotopes of potassium Lists of isotopes by element
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