What are the main uses of Radioisotopes?


The main uses of Radioisotopes are :

1. Radiation Therapy:

The radioisotope of cobalt emits gamma rays, which are used in the treatment of cancer.

2. Tracer application in agriculture and medicine:

Since radioisotopes emit rays, their position can be ascertained using suitable detectors. For example, a little sodium chloride in which a little radioisotope 11N24 has been mixed is injected into a person’s vein. A detector follows the path of the isotope. Thus, a blockage at any point in the circulation can be detected. In the same way, if a radioisotope is mixed with the soil, his rate of assimilation by plants can be detected. Thus suitable fertilizers can be selected.

3. In industry:

It can be used for ensuring the uniformity of the thickness of metal plates, rubber, paper, etc. Thinner part will let more rays pas through than thicker parts and this is how a difference in thickness can be established. This method, therefore, can be used to detect cracks in a material.

4. Radio Carbon-14-Dating:

All plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A small portion of the carbon I a plant is radioactive 6C14. When a plant dies, the 6C14 nuclei present at that time start to decay, emitting a beta particle and changing to 7N14 but6 the stable 6C12 remains constant. Therefore, the ratio of 6C14 to 6C12 in a given sample continues to decrease; knowing this ratio can thus help after the plant or tree had died.

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