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Lithium Isotopes

Radioactive Decay and Half-Life of Isotopes of Lithium

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This is a periodic table tile for the element lithium.

This is a periodic table tile for the element lithium.

Todd Helmenstine
All lithium atoms have three protons, but could have between one and eight neutrons. There are eight known isotopes of lithium, ranging from Li-4 to Li-11. Many lithium isotopes have multiple decay paths depending on the overall energy of the nucleus and its total angular momentum quantum number. This table lists the known isotopes of lithium, their half-life and type of radioactive decay. Isotopes with multiple decay schemes are represented by a range of half-life values between the shortest and longest half-life for that type of decay.

Reference: International Atomic Energy Agency ENSDF database (Oct 2010)

Isotope Half-Life Decay
Li-4 4.9 x 10-23 seconds - 8.9 x 10-23 seconds p
Li-5 5.4 x 10-22 seconds p
Li-6 Stable
7.6 x 10-23 seconds - 2.7 x 10-20 seconds
N/A
α, 3H, IT, n, p possible
Li-7 Stable
7.5 x 10-22 seconds - 7.3 x 10-14 seconds
N/A
α, 3H, IT, n, p possible
Li-8 0.8 seconds
8.2 x 10-15 seconds
1.6 x 10-21 seconds - 1.9 x 10-20 seconds
β-
IT
n
Li-9 0.2 seconds
7.5 x 10-21 seconds
1.6 x 10-21 seconds - 1.9 x 10-20 seconds
β-
n
p
Li-10 unknown
5.5 x 10-22 seconds - 5.5 x 10-21 seconds
n
γ
Li-11 8.6 x 10-3 seconds β-
 
α
β-
γ
3H
IT
n
p
alpha decay
beta- decay
gamma photon
hydrogen-3 nucleus or tritium nucleus
isomeric transition
neutron emission
proton emission

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