Radioactive isotope, also called radioisotope, radionuclide, or radioactive nuclide, any of several species of the same chemical element with different masses whose nuclei are unstable and dissipate excess energy by spontaneously emitting radiation in the form of alpha, beta, and gamma rays. How are radioisotopes used in science learn about their applications for the dating of rocks, in medicine, environmental science and materials science. Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay a useful application of half-lives is radioactive datingthis has to do with figuring out the age of ancient things. Other radioisotopes, such as iodine-123 and iodine-125, help doctors diagnose thyroid disorders and metabolic disorders in a similar way radioisotopes used in medical treatments radiation in radioisotopes is useful in treating certain types of illnesses, particularly cancerous tumors.
Radioactive isotopes of carbon (14 c) and phosphorus (32 p) have been valuable in identifying the intermediate compounds formed during carbon assimilation a photosynthesizing plant does not strongly discriminate between the most abundant natural carbon isotope ( 12 c) and 14 c. Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed the method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form.
Applications of radioisotopes in industries 1 the thickness of paper, plastics, clothes and metal sheets need to be standardised and this is done by placing a raioactive source at one side of the material and a detector on the other side.
Radioisotopes in medicine, nuclear medicine, the use of radioisotopes for diagnostics, radiation therapy, radiopharmaceuticals and other beneficial medical uses of nuclear technology tens of millions of nuclear medicine procedures are performed each year, and demand for radioisotopes is increasing rapidly.
In addition to the direct application of radioactive isotopes to diseased tissue, the gamma ray emissions of some isotopes can be directed toward the tissue to be destroyed cobalt-60 is a useful isotope for this kind of procedure. Radioactive dating radioactive isotopes are useful for establishing the ages of various objects the half-life of radioactive isotopes is unaffected by any environmental factors, so the isotope acts like an internal clock.
Radioisotopes in everyday life radioactive materials are used in a wide variety of applications in everyday life research laboratories, medical centers, industrial radioisotopes are used to diagnose and treat many medical conditions and diseases, including cancer and thyroid disorders.