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8.01 Half-Life and Radioactive Decay Honors Part I: Naturally Occurring Radiation

Caitlyn Converse

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of Carbon-14

Part I: Naturally Occurring Radiation
Carbon is also found in the atmosphere that it is a part of. Carbon dioxide gas is emitted when fossil fuels are burned and when living organisms breathe. It's in organic matter in the soil and rocks. The most carbon on Earth is in the ocean.
Carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe; it is plentiful in the stars, sun, comets and the atmospheres of most planets. Some meteorites contain microscopic diamonds, a form of carbon. The energy of stars can be attributed at least in part to the carbon-nitrogen cycle.
Carbon-14 is a weak beta emitter that is found naturally in our bodies. It is distributed widely throughout our bodies. Therefore, it is not harmful to us.
Carbon undergoes....
Carbon-14's presence in organic materials is used extensively as basis of the radiocarbon dating method to date archaeological, geological, and hydrogeological samples. It is useful in studying abnormalities of metabolism that underlie diabetes, gout, anemia, and acromegaly.

Carbon-14 does not present significant external exposure hazards of it's low energy betas. It barely penetrates the dead outer layer of skin. You can protect yourself by not eating, drinking, smoking, etc. where carbon-14 is being handled. Make sure the area you are working with compounds is ventilated.
Where is this substance most likely found, and how abundant is it?
What can be done to protect against the radiation produced by this isotope?
What type of decay does this substance undergo, and how harmful can it be to those exposed?

Beta Decay

What practical uses, if any, are there for this type of radiation? Is it used in the medical, industrial, scientific, or other fields?
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