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Uses of Radioisotopes

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Brody Bell

on 16 June 2015

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Transcript of Uses of Radioisotopes

In agriculture, radioisotopes are used in the nutritional studies of major and minor elements, milk production, mechanism of photosynthesis studies, plant protection, plant pathology, action of insecticides, uptake of fertilizers, ions mobility in soil, and plants and food preservation. In order to determine the correct nutrition for a plant we need to know the exact soil plant relationship and the factors involved.
Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to the gamma rays of a radioisotope such as the commonly used cobalt-60. The energy of the gamma rays passing through the food is enough to kill many disease causing bacteria and bacteria that causes food to spoil. The gamma energy kills bacteria but doesn't really alter any other characteristics of the food such as quality and texture, making it a very useful process
Radioisotopes in Smoke Detectors
Agricultural Applications
Food Irradiation
Uses of Radioisotopes
Archeological Dating
Radioisotopes in Medicine
Most smoke detectors contain an artificially produced radioisotope: americium-241
Americium-241 is made in nuclear reactors, and is a decay product of plutonium-241.
These are called "Ionization Chamber" smoke detectors
"Ionization Chambers" are popular because they are inexpensive and are sensitive to a wider range of fire conditions #1
Uses small radiation from radioactive material to detect the presence of smoke or heat sources. #1
Americium-241 emits alpha particles and low energy gamma rays. The alpha particles emitted by the Am-241 collide with the oxygen and nitrogen in air in the detector's ionization chamber to produce charged particles (ions). A low-level electric voltage applied across the chamber is used to collect these ions, causing a steady small electric current to flow between two electrodes. When smoke enters the space between the electrodes, the smoke particles attach to the charged ions, neutralizing them. This causes the number of ions present – and therefore the electric current – to fall, which sets off an alarm. #1
How it Works
Smoke Detectors
Radioisotopes are defined as radioactive isotopes of an element. Different isotopes of the same element have the same number of protons in their atomic nuclei but differing numbers of neutrons. They can also be defined as atoms that contain an unstable combination of neutrons and protons.
With radioisotopes scientists can easily locate the presence of a single atom and molecule and their movement. This allows scientists to see the systems and processes that are related to the nutrition of plant from germination to maturity.
Radioisotopes allow scientists to track the absorption of elements into plants through radio autographing. This is very useful because they can obtain an increased yield from the soils by applying fertilizers. Radioisotopes result in better crop yields and more food being produced. Through the uses of radioisotopes it has been found that 80% more nutrients is absorbed through the leaves and not the roots by injecting nutrients absorbed by the plants with similar radioisotopes of the elements. Also it has been discovered that plants absorb nutrients at night as well as during the day by autographing the nutrients absorbed by plants. These discoveries may seem small but result in a much more effective crop.
Radioisotopes have also been used to induce hereditary mutations in plants to improving organs, immune system, or condition adaptability in the plant.
Food irradiation can also be used to slow or even stop the sprouting process of plants by disrupting cellular processes
Archeological dating involves the application of carbon-14. All biological organisms contain a certain concentration carbon-14, and using this knowledge, many puzzles can be solved such as when organism died. When an organism dies it has a specific ratio by mass of carbon-14 to carbon-12 incorporated in the cells of it's body. (The same ratio as in the atmosphere.) At the moment of death, no new carbon-14 containing molecules are metabolized, therefore the ratio is at a maximum. After death, the carbon-14 to carbon-12 ratio begins to decrease because carbon-14 is decaying away at a constant and predictable rate. Remembering that the half-life of carbon-14 is 5700 years, then after 5700 years half as much carbon-14 remains within the organism. This is often used by paleontologists to date bones ad fossils of very old organisms such as dinosaurs.
Example of a Carbon dating graph
Carbon-14 - Google Search. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/search?q=carbon-14&biw=1366&bih=599&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIoMzJkeqSxgIVwzmsCh0dswB_#tbm=isch&q=carbon-14+dating&imgrc=3s4mdO1MUm5GmM%253A%3BYf5nUigZ7ITDMM

Archaeological Dating. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/nuclear/dating.html

Chadwell, M. (2015, May/June). Carbon dating. Lecture presented at RTM Tour, Drumheller Alberta.

Royal Tyrrell Museum. (2015). Carbon dating [Brochure]. Drumheller, AB: Author.
Smoke Detectors. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/nuclear/smoke.html

Fire - Google Search. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/search?q=fire&biw=1366&bih=599&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIibmF4fuSxgIVxR-sCh2f7gB3
Agricultural Applications. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/nuclear/agriculture.html
Food Irradiation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/nuclear/food.html
Diagnostic techniques in nuclear medicine use radioactive tracers which emit gamma rays from within the body. The isotopes injected replicate those of the organ being viewed. A camera then creates an image based on the points where radiation is emitted, this can be used to detect abnormal conditions.
Radionuclide therapy uses radioisotopes to irradiate cancer cells. A gamma beam from a radioactive cobalt-60 source is often used; however small gamma beta emitters are also implanted at a target source through a wire. The energy from the gamma rays can be enough to destroy the cancer cells. Cobalt-60 is also often used to sterilize medical equipment using the gamma energy.
Radio pharmacy also uses radioisotopes to observe and better understand the processes and systems that occur in our bodies such as the circulatory system or the process of liver filtering blood. The thyroid, for example, takes up iodine, the brain consumes quantities of glucose, and so on. With this knowledge, radio pharmacists are able to attach various radioisotopes to biologically active substances. Once a radioactive form of one of these substances enters the body, it is incorporated into the normal biological processes and excreted in the usual ways.

Radioisotopic+imaging - Google Search. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/search?q=radioisotopic%2Bimaging&biw=1366&bih=599&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMI0-_9uYWTxgIVR2CtCh0ZpgB3#tbm=isch&q=radionuclide+therapy&imgrc=SJMFy2YYb5BF0M%253A%3Bhas_NvT8bXAiEM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.world-nuclear.org%252FuploadedImages%252Forg%252Finfo%252FNon-Power_Nuclear_Applications%252FRadioisotopes%252Fansto.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.world-nuclear.org%252Finfo%252FNon-Power-Nuclear-Applications%252FRadioisotopes%252FRadioisotopes-in-Medicine%252F%3B350%3B268

World Nuclear Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Non-Power-Nuclear-Applications/Radioisotopes/Radioisotopes-in-Medicine/
Relation to Grade 11 Chemistry
In this course we have learned to calculate radio isotopic abundance
We have learned to calculate the half-life decay of radio isotopes
We have learned what happens to radioactive particles as they release alpha, beta and gamma particles
By: Brody Bell
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