less than 1 minute read

Naturally occurring barium (56Ba) is a mix of six stable isotopes and one very long-lived radioactive primordial isotope, barium-130, identified as being unstable by geochemical means (from analysis of the presence of its daughter xenon-130 in rocks) in 2001. There are a total of thirty-three known radioisotopes in addition to 130Ba. The longest-lived of these is 133Ba, which has a half-life of 10.51 years. All other radioisotopes have half-lives shorter than two weeks. The longest-lived isomer is 133mBa, which has a half-life of 38.9 hours.

Of the stable isotopes, barium-138 composes 71.7% of all barium; other isotopes have decreasing abundance with decreasing mass number. In total, barium has 40 known isotopes, ranging in mass between 114 and 153. The most stable artificial radioisotope is barium-133 with a half-life of approximately 10.51 years. Five other isotopes have half-lives longer than a day.

Spectrum (Fullscreen)

5 minute measurement with a High Purity Germanium (HPGe) radiation detector.


Isotope: Barium
Mass number: 133
Atomic number: 56
Neutron number: 77

Sources and Further Read