Radiation application in radioactive dating

Radionuclides that find their way into the environment may cause harmful effects as radioactive contamination.They can also cause damage if they are excessively used during treatment or in other ways exposed to living beings, by radiation poisoning.An imaging tracer made with radionuclides is called a radioactive tracer.

Most of those are only produced artificially, and have very short half-lives.For comparison, there are about 252 stable nuclides.There are about 730 radionuclides with half-lives longer than 60 minutes (see list of nuclides).Thirty-two of those are primordial radionuclides that were created before the earth was formed.Radionuclides are present in many homes as they are used inside the most common household smoke detectors.

The radionuclide used is americium-241, which is created by bombarding plutonium with neutrons in a nuclear reactor.This complex mixture of radionuclides with different chemistries and radioactivity makes handling nuclear waste and dealing with nuclear fallout particularly problematic.Radionuclides are used in two major ways: either for their radiation alone (irradiation, nuclear batteries) or for the combination of chemical properties and their radiation (tracers, biopharmaceuticals).The range of the half-lives of radioactive atoms have no known limits and span a time range of over 55 orders of magnitude.Radionuclides occur naturally or are artificially produced in nuclear reactors, cyclotrons, particle accelerators or radionuclide generators.It decays by emitting alpha particles and gamma radiation to become neptunium-237.