miscellaneous Mössbauer topics

To finish this topic, let us look at a few concepts, reasonings and examples that you will inevitably meet when reading about Mössbauer spectroscopy. You will learn what makes an isotope suitable for Mössbauer spectroscopy, what are the advantages of using Mössbauer spectroscopy in a radioactive beam facility, how a tweak of the method makes it suitable for surfaces, and how and why scientists perform Mössbauer spectroscopy on planet Mars. If you want to play with Mössbauer spectra yourself, pointers to some available (free) software are given.

Some optional resources to dig deeper are given at the bottom of the page. But first the task related to the video (you can put your answers in the google form underneath):

  1. Describe what would happen to a Mössbauer spectrum if the
    lifetime of the isotope would be smaller.
  2. In the video, there were two “ why-questions” : why should the γ-
    transition end up in the ground state? And why is there preferably a 1/2-3/2 transition?
  3. You saw the properties of the most used 57Fe isotope in the video (search for 57Fe in the nuclear moment database, in particular the 14 keV level). The second-most used Mössbauer isotope is 119Sn (23 keV level) (search for 119Sn in the nuclear moment database, in particular the 23 keV level).
    Discuss which is the better one for each relevant property.

Here are some optional resources to dig deeper if you feel like :

  • software to analyze Mössbauer spectra
  • a database of properties of Mössbauer isotopes (click on an element to see details (note: currently (2022) not accessible))
  • only indirectly related, yet entertaining and interesting: how to get a rover (with Mössbauer equipment) on the planet Mars (edit: I know, since 2021 you are spoiled by the much more sophisticated landing of the Perseverance rover — but Perseverance does not have Mössbauer equipment) :

Expected time: 35 minutes (report)