The World Beyond Iron

Authors(s):G. Michael Kalvius Publication:The Rudolf Mössbauer Story: His Scientific Work and Its Impact on Science and History Publication Date:January 14, 2012 Publisher: Springer Citation:Kalvius, Michael, The World Beyond Iron, Chapter 8, The Rudolf Mössbauer Story: His Scientific Work and Its Impact on Science and History. Germany, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012. Link:Google Books

The mere fact that the Mössbauer effect was discovered with the 129.4 keV transition in 191 Ir demonstrates immediately the availability of Mössbauer isotopes other than 57 Fe. Nevertheless, the 57 Fe resonance remains the soul of Mössbauer spectroscopy. It combines a number of favorable properties: a source with convenient half-life (270 days), a large recoil-free fraction which allows measurements well above room temperature, and an energy resolution of 10 8 eV which is one to two orders of magnitude smaller than the typical hyperfine interaction energies. Yet, the energy resolution is not high enough to lead to substantial line broadenings by the unavoidable small distortions in the crystalline lattice of a real solid. The low natural abundance (2,2%) of the 57 Fe is compensated by the large resonance cross-section and isotopic enrichment is only needed for materials containing iron in very low concentration or for extremely small samples. 57 Fe was in fact not the second Mössbauer transition to be used after 191 Ir. In establishing the correctness of the, not immediately believed, result of Mössbauer, the group at Argonne National Laboratory [1] measured not only the recoil-free resonance absorption in 191 Ir, but also that of the 100 keV transition in 182 W. This historically number two resonance has later mainly be used for the establishment of nuclear parameters.