Astrophysics (index)

Valley of Beta Stability

(Beta-decay stable isobars, line of beta stability)
(set of atomic number/weight pairs not prone to beta decay)

The Valley of Beta Stability is a set of atomic number/weight pairs (isotopes) for which the balance of protons and neutrons does not induce typical Beta Decay, because they have sufficient Binding Energy. Natural isotopes tend to fall in this set, because if some other form of radioactivity or nuclear reaction creates an isotope outside this set, it will beta decay until it reaches this set. As such, its existence is part of the theory explaining the abundance of elements.