Table shows example usage of selected radioisotopes.

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 Element name Isotope Used radiation Half-life time T1/2 Example usage Americium Show source$^{241}Am$ Show source$\alpha$ 432.7 years smoke detectors (fire protection systems) Cesium Show source$^{137}Cs$ Show source$\gamma$ 30 years industrial radiography, cesium bomb, thickness measurements Phosphorous Show source$^{32}P$ Show source$\beta$ 14.3 days medicine (treatment of leukemia) Iridium Show source$^{192}Ir$ Show source$\gamma$ 73.8 days industrial radiography Iodine Show source$^{131}I$ Show source$\gamma$ 8 days medicine (thyroid disease) Cobalt Show source$^{60}Co$ Show source$\gamma$ 5.26 years treatment of neoplastic diseases (cobalt bomb), industrial radiography, radiation devices, lithium scale, equipment for measuring the thickness and measuring the level of liquids in tanks Plutonium Show source$^{238}Pu$ Show source$\alpha$ 87.7 years smoke detectors Rubidium Show source$^{87}Rb$ Show source$\beta$ 50000000000 years radioactive dating Sulfur Show source$^{35}S$ Show source$\beta$ 87.32 days marked atom, mainly in the study of organic compounds Thalium Show source$^{204}Tl$ Show source$\beta$ 3.8 years thickness measurements Carbon Show source$^{14}C$ Show source$\beta$ 5570 years determining the age of excavations, monuments, etc., studying the mechanisms of complex reactions (marked atom) Hydrogen Show source$^{3}H$ Show source$\beta$ 12.46 years luminous paints, research on reaction mechanisms (marked atom)

Some facts

• Unstable isotopes undergo radioactive decay creating stable ones.
• Radioactive decay is usually related to emision of:
• alpha radiation - composed of helium nuclei $^{4}He^{2+}$,
• beta radiation - depending on the decay type composed of electrons ($\beta^{-}$ decay) or positrons ($\beta^{+}$ decay) moving at speed comparable to the speed of light,
• gamma radiation - electromagnetic radiation with quant energy above 50 keV.
• Large doses of radiation emitted during nuclear transformations are dangerous to health, and in extreme cases can lead to radiation sickness. On the other hand, small doses such as those that we encounter when taking an X-ray are harmless.
• The phenomenon of radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by a French physicist Henri Becquerel. He studied various substances for phosphorescence, including uranium salts.
• An important contribution to the understanding of the phenomenon of radioactivity was made by polish chemist Maria Curie-Skłodowska.
• In quantitative terms, the unit of radioactivity is 1 bekerel (Bq), which is equivalent to 1 decay per second.

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