[texhax] Nuclear states of the LaTeX kind

Simmie, John john.simmie at nuigalway.ie
Thu Dec 29 21:35:43 CET 2011

It is wrong Gord; the correct nomenclature is
Upper left 180m, bottom left 73 on the elemental name Ta if you want to
use the formulaic version but in inline text this is correct too
The 73 is redundant here but useful in nuclear formulas for keeping
track of the number of protons and neutrons during a nuclear reaction
All of this to describe the 1st metastable isomer of tantalum-180 whose
half-life unusually is $\approx 10^{15}$ ~ years

The upper right position is reserved for charge, +5, in your example and
the bottom right for number of.

NIST is a fine organisation (whose databases I frequently use) but it
does not set standards for the world  scientific community
this is normally done by international organisations agreeing to set
rules, nomenclature, etc., etc.


Emeritus Professor John Simmie::Combustion Chemistry Centre::NUI Galway,

Gordon Haverland wrote

> \ce{^{180}Ta^m5+}

>it looks wrong to have the m after the elemental symbol to me.  
>I've no idea if that typesets correctly.  What looks better using
mhchem (to me) is

 > \ce{^{180m}Ta^5+}

>But this has been an enlightening topic.

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