Copper is the metal of choice for jewelry and electrical conductors. However, its use can sometimes result in health concerns. Fortunately, a number of radioisotopes make copper an attractive option for nuclear medicine.
The most common copper isotope is Cu-65, which has an atomic mass of about 65. As such, it is one of the most abundant isotopes in the Earth’s crust. This is due in part to a phenomenon called the sulphide fractionation. When the Earth first differentiated, a large amount of sulphide was dissolved in the molten mantle, resulting in the formation of several new isotopes.
Although the atomic mass of the Copper-65 isotope is quite modest, it is one of the most abundant stable isotopes in the known universe. This is because of the presence of a natural abundance of neutrons in its nucleus.
Amongst its many uses, it is used in the manufacturing of coins and water pipes. It is also important for metabolic processes. Some studies suggest that exposure to copper can inhibit the absorption of antibiotics.
Another use for this element is in the manufacture of metal alloys. Copper is a component of perchlorate, which is the precursor to sodium and magnesium chloride. Other uses include cooking pots and pans. Soil exposure to copper can be detrimental to the growth of microbial communities.
Copper is a good candidate for the omen of the copper-oxide-laden soil. In fact, it has been speculated that Cu-65 may be a precursor to the more stable Cu-64.