Copper Atom Cu + Cu

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ben sorenson

Joined Feb 28, 2022
106
I was just curious what the result would be if 2 copper atoms were combined or if 2 copper atoms were "fused" together" ? What would be created?

Also if one copper atom was split, what would be the consequence of that?
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
10,698
I was just curious what the result would be if 2 copper atoms were combined or if 2 copper atoms were "fused" together" ? What would be created?

Also if one copper atom was split, what would be the consequence of that?
The s-process (from something like neutron star mergers from stars created from supernova explosions) would give you elements like Cerium with ~2x copper protons.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-process

 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
6,711
In theory, it would make Cerium, but it would be rather too short of neutron to be stable.
A copper atom has 29 protons and 34 or 36 neutrons.
Cerium has 58 protons and 82 neutrons, so you need 10 neutrons from somewhere to keep it together.

Fission products could be anything - it depends on where you hit it.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
19,592
Ignoring the practical realities of actually doing this on planet Earth.

What happens immediately after two nuclei are fused depends on the stability of the isotope of the element that you create. So, you add the number of protons of the two copper atoms together, 29 + 29 = 58 which would be Cerium (Element #58). The mass numbers of typical isotopes of copper are 63 and 65 which means they have respectively 63-29 = 34 and 65 - 29 = 36 neutrons each. This means there are at least three possible fusion products:
  1. Cerium 126 (58 protons, 68 neutrons)
  2. Cerium 128 (58 protons, 70 neutrons)
  3. Cerium 130 (58 protons, 72 neutrons)
According to following list of the properties of Cerium isotopes:
  1. Cerium 126 has a half-life of approximately 51 seconds and turns into Lanthanum 126 via β-decay
  2. Cerium 128 has a half-life of approximately 3.93 minutes and turns into Lanthanum 128 via β-decay
  3. Cerium 130 has a half-life of approximately 22.9 minutes and turns into Lanthanum 130 via β-decay
If you feel adventurous you can research the stability of those Lanthanum isotopes to see how far you have to go to get stable isotopes.

Quoting from the Wikipedia article:
Naturally occurring cerium (58Ce) is composed of 4 stable isotopes: 136Ce, 138Ce, 140Ce, and 142Ce, with 140Ce being the most abundant (88.48% natural abundance)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_cerium#:~:text=List of isotopes Nuclide [n,1.1 (1) s 21 more rows

With respect to fission, you may have difficulty splitting the stable isotopes with mass number 63 and 65. there are however there are 27 radioisotopes that will tun into nickel or zinc if you wait long enough.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_copper#:~:text=List of isotopes Nuclide [n, <75 ns 21 more rows

ETA: You might want to consider that Iron is the end of the line when it comes to what a star is capable of in terms of fusion. Iron is element #26, which is leass than #29, and I'm going to take that as a pretty clear indication that Copper fusion is most unlikely -- at least in this universe.
 
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nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
10,698
In theory, it would make Cerium, but it would be rather too short of neutron to be stable.
A copper atom has 29 protons and 34 or 36 neutrons.
Cerium has 58 protons and 82 neutrons, so you need 10 neutrons from somewhere to keep it together.

Fission products could be anything - it depends on where you hit it.
The extra neutrons would be from the merging neutron stars blast energy ( more energy in a matter of seconds than our sun will emit during its entire lifetime) needed to fuse copper atoms. :eek:
 
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