Saturday, 9 October 2010

Radio Isotopes

Radio Isotopes are Decaying isotopes, therefore they're radioactive, hence the name.

· We can use Radio Isotopes to date rocks in Geology.

· We can use Radio Isotopes in tumour treatment in medicine.

· We can use Radio Isotopes in dating any Carbon-based object. (Carbon 14)


We can date Igneous rocks using Radio Isotopes. Often Potassium 40. It has the half life of 1.3 × 109 years.

Archean age is not the same as the age of the earth! (Not to be confused)

For Radio Isotope Dating to work:

1. Half life must be known accurately.

2. There must be no movement of isotopes in or out of the rocks since formation.

3. The clock cannot be reset by metamorphism.


The ratio of Carbon 12 to Carbon 14 is stable in living organisms. This stops when productivity stops, so we can estimate the time of death.

The half life of Carbon 14 is 5730 years.

We use Gamma to destroy cancerous cells.

Iodine is a radioactive isotope that we can use in medicine, it’s a gamma emitter.

We usually use Gamma in medicine because it’s the least Ionising of three types of radiation, which results in the smallest amount of cell deformation possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment