Super rare calcium isotopes: Having $ 500,000 can only buy 2 grams

And after learning about how to build it, the dream of buying 2 pounds of calcium-48 came to be smashed into smoke .

If you're in excess of money, consider buying calcium-48 - calcium's rare isotope for research. It was so valuable that the world famous chemist Martyn Poliakoff was not allowed to touch.

This substance is so rare that it only accounts for 0.187% of the natural matter on Earth and for this isotope to be separated from other forms of calcium, it must be separated EACH PRINTER to one , using a machine separated by giant magnets.

In the video below, Mr. Martyn will give us a look at half a million dollars of calcium-48 and (painfully) admit that he must not touch the material contained in that precious jar.

He also explains why this isotope is so expensive: first, you'll have to create calcium ions by heating a sample of calcium to high temperatures, then separating that isotope in the environment. Vacuum, in an artificial magnetic field.

To get this result, scientists have to use very expensive and specialized equipment. In the world, there is only one place to produce calcium-48, which is in a factory located in the Russian town of Lesnoy, about 250km from Yekaterinburg. So, the annual output of this isotope is 10 grams / year - about 2 teaspoons.

Picture 1 of Super rare calcium isotopes: Having $ 500,000 can only buy 2 grams
The speciality of neutrons in calcium-48 makes it . special.

"So we have an exclusive supplier, but if you want to make money, making calcium-48 isotopes is probably not the right choice, because this stuff has very few buyers," said Mr. Martyn. to speak.

The only reason people use calcium-48 is in nuclear physics - we need this isotope to synthesize super-heavy elements, an element that has a very short half-life, only in about a few minutes to a few milliseconds.

But why is calcium-48? Is there another slightly cheaper calcium isotope? The video above answered all of these questions.The speciality of neutrons in calcium-48 makes it . special.

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