Nitrogen-9 Nucleus

Nitrogen-9 Nucleus

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “ Nitrogen-9 Nucleus”. This topic has relevance in the Science and Technology section of the UPSC CSE exam.


GS 3: Science and Technology


Why in the news?

Researchers may have just spotted the elusive, ephemeral nucleus of nitrogen-9 for the first time.


Nitrogen-9 Nucleus Discovery

  • Researchers have unveiled clues about a novel isotope, nitrogen-9, through experiments conducted at the U.S. National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.
  • The discovery involves the collision of oxygen isotopes with beryllium atoms.

Characteristics of Nitrogen-9 Nucleus:

  • Nitrogen-9 is identified by its composition of seven protons and two neutrons, indicating an exceptionally high proton-to-neutron ratio.
  • This unique ratio significantly influences the stability, decay processes, and overall behavior of the isotope.
  • The high proton content places nitrogen-9 atoms beyond conventional stability thresholds.
  • This is a departure from the more common nitrogen-14 isotope, characterized by seven protons and seven neutrons.


Understanding Isotopes

  • Isotopes are variations of atoms of the same element, differing only in the number of neutrons.
  • Isotopes with an inadequate number of neutrons for the given protons often exhibit instability.
  • Unstable isotopes have a transient existence and tend to decay by releasing energy to attain a more stable configuration.



  • Nuclides refer to a table or chart illustrating atomic nuclei with a unique combination of protons and neutrons.
  • A chart of nuclides is a two-dimensional graph depicting isotopes of elements.The graph’s axes denote the number of neutrons (N) and protons (Z) in each atomic nucleus.Each point on the graph represents a distinct nuclide.

Source:‘Strong evidence’ unusual nitrogen-9 nucleus exists, scientists say – The Hindu


Q.1 What is the defining characteristic that distinguishes isotopes within the same chemical element?

(a) Electron arrangement

(b) Proton count

(c) Neutron count

(d) Atomic mass




Q.2 What is the primary representation of nuclides in the context of atomic nuclei?

(a) Chemical formulas

(b) Electron configurations

(c) Two-dimensional graphs

(d) Molecular structures




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