Radio active isotopes

Radioactive isotopes introduction

Though a CT scan uses radiation, it is not a nuclear imaging technique, because the source of radiation - the X-rays - comes from equipment outside the body as opposed to a radiopharmaceutical inside the body. Nuclear imaging measures the function of a part of the body by measuring blood flow, distribution or accumulation of the radioisotope , and does not provide highly-resolved anatomical images of body structures. The mass number is the whole number that is closest to the mass expressed in atomic mass units of the atom in question. Radioactive iodine can be used in the diagnosis of thyroid function and in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Thus, regardless of the number of neutrons they have, all atoms whose nuclei have one proton are hydrogen atoms. The process of nuclear fission creates a wide range of fission products , most of which are radionuclides. One can then examine the result with a radiation detector, such as a Geiger counter , to determine where the provided atoms were incorporated. Nuclear imaging shows the position and concentration of the radioisotope. Oxygen 2. In geology , archaeology , and paleontology , natural radionuclides are used to measure ages of rocks, minerals, and fossil materials. Most decay quickly but can still be observed astronomically and can play a part in understanding astronomic processes. Radioactive isotopes have numerous medical applications—diagnosing and treating illnesses and diseases. One way of artificially inducing nuclear transmutation is by bombarding stable isotopes with alpha particles. The stable end product is a nonradioactive isotope of another element, i.

The thyroid gland in the neck is one of the few places in the body with a significant concentration of iodine. The thyroid gland in the neck is one of the few places in the body with a significant concentration of iodine.

15 uses of isotopes

For example, if a thyroid tumor were detected, a much larger infusion thousands of rem, as opposed to a diagnostic dose of less than 40 rem of iodine could help destroy the tumor cells.

Radioactive isotopes have many useful applications. One isotope, carbon, is particularly useful in determining the age of once-living artifacts. Its distribution can be tracked according to the radiation it gives off. Secondary radionuclides are radiogenic isotopes derived from the decay of primordial radionuclides.

Particle accelerators such as cyclotrons accelerate particles to bombard a target to produce radionuclides.

stable and radioactive isotopes

All rights reserved. Email An atomic species is defined by two whole numbers: the number of protons in the nucleus known as Z, or atomic number and the total number of protons plus neutrons known as Z, or mass number.

5 uses of isotopes

Nuclear fission[ edit ] Radionuclides are produced as an unavoidable result of nuclear fission and thermonuclear explosions. The half-life of radioactive isotopes is unaffected by any environmental factors, so the isotope acts like an internal clock. Further radionuclides can be created from irradiation of the nuclear fuel creating a range of actinides and of the surrounding structures, yielding activation products. It highlights the almost microscopic remodelling attempts of the skeleton as it fights the invading cancer cells. Though a CT scan uses radiation, it is not a nuclear imaging technique, because the source of radiation - the X-rays - comes from equipment outside the body as opposed to a radiopharmaceutical inside the body. One way of artificially inducing nuclear transmutation is by bombarding stable isotopes with alpha particles. Many people still cling to a different notion, despite the scientific evidence. Radioactive Dating Radioactive isotopes are useful for establishing the ages of various objects. In nuclear medicine , radioisotopes are used for diagnosis, treatment, and research. Eggs and some meat, such as beef, pork, and poultry, can also be irradiated. Irradiation of Food The radiation emitted by some radioactive substances can be used to kill microorganisms on a variety of foodstuffs, extending the shelf life of these products. In research, radioactive isotopes as tracer agents make it possible to follow the action and reaction of organic and inorganic substances within the body, many of which could not be studied by any other means. A tiny amount of carbon is produced naturally in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, and living things incorporate some of it into their tissues, building up to a constant, albeit very low, level. Pharmacology: The study of the metabolism of drugs before they are authorized for public use. Radioactive isotopes have a variety of applications.

Contrary to the belief of some people, irradiation of food does not make the food itself radioactive. Various natural radioactive isotopes are used to determine chronologies, such as the archeological kind 14C. Isotopes can be stable or unstable or radioisotopes.

Artificial nuclide americium emitting alpha particles inserted into a cloud chamber for visualisation Synthetic radionuclides are deliberately synthesised using nuclear reactorsparticle accelerators or radionuclide generators: As well as being extracted from nuclear waste, radioisotopes can be produced deliberately with nuclear reactors, exploiting the high flux of neutrons present.

list of radioactive isotopes

In biologyradionuclides of carbon can serve as radioactive tracers because they are chemically very similar to the nonradioactive nuclides, so most chemical, biological, and ecological processes treat them in a nearly identical way.

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What are radioisotopes?