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Friday, September 10, 2021

THE HAPPENING WORLD: Radioactive Decay of Xenon-124 Observed: Half-Life 1.8×1022 Years

Xenon-124 decays to stable tellurium-124 by double electron capture with a half life of 1.8×1022 years, which is around a trillion times the present age of the universe. Its observation by the XENON1T detector is the rarest physical phenomenon ever directly detected. This handily exceeds the previous record set in 2003 by the observation of decay of bismuth-209, half life 1.9×1019 years, about which I wrote in “Barely Radioactive Elements”. This isn't, however, the longest-lived known isotope: tellurium-128, with a double beta decay half life of 2.2×1024 years, which is more than 160 trillion times the age of the universe.

Posted at September 10, 2021 11:35