Problem: The nucleus of 6Li is a powerful absorber of neutrons. It exists in the naturally occurring metal to the extent of 7.5%. In the era of nuclear deterrence, large quantities of lithium were processed to remove 6Li for use in hydrogen bomb production. The lithium metal remaining after removal of 6Li was sold on the market.The atomic masses of 6Li and 7Li are 6.015122 and 7.016004 amu, respectively. A sample of lithium depleted in the lighter isotope was found on analysis to contain 1.442% 6Li. What is the average atomic weight of this sample of the metal?

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FREE Expert Solution

6Li: mass =  6.015122 amu         f.a. = (100%-1.442%) ÷ 100 = 0.98558

7Li: mass = 7.016004 amu          f.a. = 1.442% ÷ 100 = 0.01442


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Problem Details

The nucleus of 6Li is a powerful absorber of neutrons. It exists in the naturally occurring metal to the extent of 7.5%. In the era of nuclear deterrence, large quantities of lithium were processed to remove 6Li for use in hydrogen bomb production. The lithium metal remaining after removal of 6Li was sold on the market.

The atomic masses of 6Li and 7Li are 6.015122 and 7.016004 amu, respectively. A sample of lithium depleted in the lighter isotope was found on analysis to contain 1.442% 6Li. What is the average atomic weight of this sample of the metal?

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Cole's class at IOWA.