Astatine only has a half life of approximately 8.3 hours. Any studies or projected work that is to be done on astatine that is synthesized must be performed quickly before it disintegrates. The only way that astatine can be created is in a nuclear reactor using the element bismuth. In this process, the bismuth isotope, number 209, is bombarded with alpha particles from the nuclei of the isotope, number 4, of helium. This results in the formation of the astatine isotope number 211. The bismuth target must be cooled during this process because astatine is extremely volatile. Once this process is completed, the bismuth target is then heated to between 300 - 1112 °F. The heating process takes place under nitrogen and this reaction produces a stream of astatine in its elemental form. The minute quantities of astatine that are produced are then collected on a finger of cold glass.