Talk:Table of nuclides (segmented, narrow)

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Explanation of the two-coloured cells[edit]

I'd like to know the exact meaning of this: Half lives are indicated by the color of each isotope's cell, with isotopes having alternative decay paths having differing foreground and background colors and of the colors in the case of alternative decay paths, in order to translate this correctly to french for the French Wikipedia. (And also in order to learn for myself...)

When an element has alt. decay paths, do the 2 colours correspond to the most important (i.e. most probable) 2 decay paths ? And then to what "half-life" exactly does each colour correspond ? (My wild guess: to the hypothetical half-life of the element that would hold if only that decay mode was active.)

Also, what is the meaning of "Natural radioactive" ? If it is radioactive then it decays then it has a finite half-life, right ? So the "> 10000 years" category is actually "> 10000 years and < X years": what is X ? The maximal evaluable half-life ?

And at last, what is a good french translation for "decay" ?

--FvdP 23:49 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I, too, am looking for a more detailed explanation of the two-coloured cells. I suppose that the central colour indicates the half-life, as for one-coloured cells. The border colour I imagine may indicate the most common decay pathway, e.g. white for beta decay and violet for electron capture (arbitrary examples) – but which is which? --Eddi (Talk) 20:58, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

I am not a nuclear physicist. And technically, "foreground color" should refer to the color of the text, not to the inner box background. That out of the way, the description in the article may be simply wrong. The outer colors appear not to refer to multiple decay modes or something like that, but to the half lives of metastable isomer states. Al-26 has a half life of 7.1e5 years, Al-26m has a half life of 6.345 s. Sc-46 83.81 days, Sc-46m 18.7 s. Mn-52 5.591 days, Mn-52m 21.1 minutes (data from CRC handbook). Seems to fit to the colors. Let's see how hafnium is handled with more than one metastate. Looks like only the most stable states are used. Hf-178 is stable, Hf-178m1 4.0 s, Hf-178m2 31 years. Some early talk about the tables is found at Talk:Isotope (and in its history), of which these pages are spin-offs. I've sent a message to User:Bryan Derksen, the main early contributor, asking for some insights. Femto 12:50, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I'm not so sure myself. :) I got all the original data off of a giant table that was at but which now 404s. Some of the cells in the table were divided diagonally to show two different half-lives, so I just copied that when I made this table. Magnus Manske indicated that he thought this might be for alternate decay types with different half lives and that sounded reasonable to me. Bryan 18:25, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
It's alive and kicking at if that's the page we're talking about. Femto 20:38, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
No, that's a much different-looking table than the one I remember. Much nicer-looking, but it lacks the two-color split cells. Bryan 01:03, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Within each isotope, a specific mode of decay has no specific half-life, whereas a specific isomer does. Therefore it may be reasonable if different colours indicate the half-lives of the two (most abundant) isomers of each isotope. Is it feasible to check all of the ~200 two-coloured cells to verify this and then modify the explanation in the articles as appropriate? --Eddi (Talk) 19:27, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Sounds like work. I am not going to do that. :) Anyway, if we go to this length, it would be done with an automated script, and it'd be just as easy to check and re-create the whole table from the most up-to-date online database as it would be to check only part of the entries. To make sure, everyone's aware of Wikipedia:WikiProject Isotopes? It's not the most populated or most active project, but any more sophisticated effort at collecting nuclide data would best be coordinated through there. There's also a better chance of finding specialists who may want to help with here. Femto 20:38, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Or we could just be bold and change the explanation without verification, and make the necessary corrections if anybody complains... :D   I hadn't actually visited the project but I've been thinking about leaving a note there regarding the development of the isotope tables. --Eddi (Talk) 22:43, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
After checking another handful of entries I'm reasonably convinced of the meaning and edited the descriptions. Femto 17:21, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

In nuclide charts that I've observed in auditoriums and corridors, different colours mean different modes of decay, and the colours' areas indicate the approximate proportion of decay modes. E.g. if there are two modes and each amount to 10-90% of the activity, they get a diagonal half table cell each. For isotopes with isomers, the table cell is divided vertically or horizontally in two, three, etc. and the colours of each rectangle describe one isomer's decay pattern. Would this kind of detail be possible here? --Eddi (Talk) 19:27, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Meaning of white cells[edit]

What does it mean when there is white cell?

The isotope has a half life of less than a day. Usually much less than a day, in most cases; those isotopes tend to be so unstable they fall apart almost as soon as they form. Bryan 01:08, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Half-life of Si-32[edit]

According to, Silicon 32 has a half life of 132 years, not the half life indicated on the table, which is between 100 days and 10 years.

Introducing templates to Isotope table (divided)[edit]

The templates Iso1 and Iso2 have successfully been introduced to Isotope table (complete), reducing file size from over 90 to under 45 kB and simplifying the editing of the article. It was tested at User:Femto/templatedisotopetabledraft before implementation. Now a similar test has been made with the same results for Isotope table (divided) at User:Femto/templatedisotopetabledraft2. The templates may therefore be introduced to Isotope table (divided) in the near future. For further background and discussion see the talk page of Isotope table (complete). --Eddi (Talk) 20:58, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

After proofreading the draft vs. the live table, I have implemented the templates in the live table. As far as I can see, all isotopes are maintained, all colours are the same as before, and all wikilinks are in place. The file size was reduced from 96 to 46 kB. See the talk page of the complete table for a discussion of further synchronisation of complete and divided tables. --Eddi (Talk) 22:59, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Synchronisation of complete and divided tables[edit]

Some isotopes were missing in either the complete table or the divided table. (This was unrelated to the introduction of templates in the tables.) The following entries have now been added or corrected in each table:

  • Isotope table (complete): Ne-15, Al-21, Si-22, Si-23, Si-24, P-24, P-25, P-26, P-45, P-46.
  • Isotope table (divided): Mg-33 (was Mg-31), S-41, S-42, S-43, S-44, S-45, Cl-44, Cl-45, Cl-46, Ar-47, V-45, Mn-48, Co-51, Co-52, Cu-55, Cu-56, Cu-57, Zn-58, Zn-59, Ga-59, Ga-60, Ga-61, Ga-62.

--Eddi (Talk) 20:01, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Stability of isomer of Ta 180[edit]

The two-coloured cell for Ta 180 indicates that there is a nuclear isomer that is unstable (the white border). However, elsewhere on Wikipedia (under "nuclear isomer") we are told that Ta 180 has the only stable nuclear isomer.

One of these must be wrong - I suspect the first, since elsewhere there is reference to Ta 180 isomer stability - see

I'm not sure if I can edit this, perhaps someone can have a go?

Why was this article deleted?[edit]

[put answer next to this. -anomumous]

Because you appear to have messed up while editing it, deleting most of the text and inserting a redirect at the top. I've fixed it. Please be a little more careful next time, if you want to practice editing an article you can experiment with Wikipedia:Sandbox and not risk damaging anything. Bryan 23:58, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


Both this page and Isotope table (complete) say that Neodymium-145 is radioactive, but Isotopes of neodymium and Stable isotope say that that isotope is stable.

Fixed. Femto 14:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Size of chunks[edit]

With the main isotope table, I can see over 30 columns at once.

What do you think of changing the divided table to chunks of 30 columns instead of 15? --JWB 05:26, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

If redoing this article's tables based on the undivided table, I would also slice horizontally instead of vertically. I will try this at some point if nobody objects. --JWB 22:03, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
I tried doing it horizontally myself back when I was first crafting these. Some of those tables got extremely wide, though. I'd recommend not making the tables wider than will fit on an 800×600 screen, otherwise the value of not having to scroll side-to-side will be lost to some users. There's always the "complete" version for those who don't mind wideness. Bryan Derksen (talk) 02:00, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Please Fix the color[edit]

Krypton 78 is unstable !!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gulabatu (talkcontribs) 04:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


A proposal has been made to merge this article with Isotope table (complete). Please offer your opinion on this matter here on “complete’s” talk page. Prior discussion regarding a preceding proposal to merge, posted by the initiating proponent of the merge User: Greg L and JWB (talk) can be read here on “complete’s” talk page. . Greg L (my talk) 07:22, 19 February 2008 (UTC)