• Question: How much francium is there on earth?

    Asked by kamilo12 to clairemarieroberts, Faye, Martin, Mus, Pete on 23 Apr 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 23 Apr 2012:

      Great question, kamilo12! I’m not sure on a specific answer, but I would guess that not much of it is around. Francium is a really unstable, radioactive element, which means that if any does occur, it breaks down VERY quickly (in less than half an hour!).

      Along similar lines, did you know that if you took all of the gold that has ever been extracted from the ground, there would only be enough to fill about 3 Olympic-sized swimming pools?

    • Photo: Faye Didymus

      Faye Didymus answered on 23 Apr 2012:

      Francium is probably the rarest element found in the earth’s crust. As Francium is so rare and the isotopes are so short-lived, I don’t think we know too much about it…basically is breaks down so quickly that it’s really hard to learn much about it! Some experts think that there is no more than 15 grams of Francium in the Earth’s crust, which is not very much at all…in fact it’s only the equivalent of a really small handful of nuts and raisins! Other experts say a similar thing…that at any one time there can be no more than one ounce of Francuim on earth because it has a half life of only 22 minutes!