Definition of astatine in English:



(also At)
  • The chemical element of atomic number 85, a radioactive member of the halogen group. Astatine was first produced by bombarding bismuth with alpha particles, and it occurs in traces in nature as a decay product.

    ‘The halogens are a group of chemical elements that includes fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine.’
    • ‘There is evidence that astatine behaves like iodine in the body.’
    • ‘By one estimate, no more than a millionth of a gram of astatine has ever been produced in the lab.’
    • ‘The total amount of astatine present in the earth's crust, however, is probably less than 1 oz.’
    • ‘The bismuth target is cooled during irradiation to prevent the volatile astatine disappearing.’
    • ‘This, together with its short lifetime, leaves no reason for considering the effects of astatine on human health.’
    • ‘However, astatine also shows similarities to polonium and bismuth.’



/ˈastətēn/ /ˈæstətin/


1940s from Greek astatos ‘unstable’+ -ine.