The Discovery of Isotopes: A Complete Compilation

Front Cover
Springer, Jun 2, 2016 - Science - 413 pages

This book describes the exciting discovery of every isotope observed on earth to date, which currently numbers some 3000. The discoveries are arranged in chapters according to the observation techniques or production methods. Each chapter contains tables listing the first authors of the first publication as well as details about the production and detection methods used. At the end, a comprehensive table lists all isotopes sorted by elements. The book is based on individual paragraphs for each isotope, which were published over the last few years as separate articles in the journal “Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables”. The work re-evaluates all prior assignments judging them with a uniform set of criteria. In addition, the author includes over 100 new isotopes which have been discovered since the articles published.
This book is a source of information for researchers as well as enthusiastic laymen alike.

From the prepublication review:

“The explanations focus on the essentials, which makes the various chapters pleasingly compact. The phrasing is well understandable also for non-experts. This makes the book easy to read, even thrilling. I have to confess that parts of the manuscript I was even reading as an evening lecture in the bed, so exciting was the history of isotope discoveries.”

Sigurd Hofmann, Helmholtz Professor at GSI Darmstadt, Germany, and a leading expert in superheavy nuclei


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


1 Introduction
2 Radioactive Decay Chains
3 Isotopes of Stable Elements
4 First Nuclear Reactions
5 Transuranium Elements
6 NeutronInduced Fission
7 NeutronInduced Reactions
8 Photon and Pion Induced Reactions
10 Spallation and ChargedParticle Induced Fission
11 FusionEvaporation Reactions
12 Superheavy Elements
13 Spontaneous Fission
14 Heavy Ion Transfer and Deep Inelastic Reactions
15 Projectile Fragmentation and Fission
16 Unbound Isotopes
17 Summary and Outlook

9 LightChargedParticle Reactions

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Michael Thoennessen, since 1998 full professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, obtained his MS in Physics in 1985 from the University of Cologne, Germany, and his Ph.D. in 1988 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA. Michael then joined the Joint Institute for Heavy Ion Research at ORNL, Oak Ridge, as a Research Associate. He currently is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and Associate Director for User Relations, at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

The author and co-author of more than 450 scholarly publications, as well as Supervisory Editor of the journal Nuclear Physics A, focuses his research on experimental nuclear physics.

He is involved in the Discovery of Nuclides Project, a literature search to document the discovery of all isotopes, started in 2007 and published in a series of papers in the journal Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables.
Among others he was awarded the William Elgin Wickenden Award of the American Society for Engineering Education in 1999, the GENCO (GSI Exotic Nuclei Community) Membership Award in 2009 and the Division of Nuclear Physics Mentoring Award of the American Physical Society in 2012. He has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2005.

Bibliographic information