Applications and uses of radioactivity

The discovery of radioactivity is great boon to human beings. It is now days used in wide range of fields. More depth research and findings about radioactivity are being done which are applied in various fields. From large scale industries to micro nuclear activities it is now being used. It is also used for production of electricity in most countries like India, China, America etc. It is used in applied science as well as geological science. In present days it is also widely used in medical and radio therapy purposes.


List of applications of radioactivity

  1. Discovery of new fundamental particles.
  2. Discovery of new element and structure of compound.
  3. In discovery of isotopes and isobars.
  4. In generating electricity inside nuclear reactors.
  5. In the production of hydrogen and atomic bomb.
  6. In radio therapy for treating diseases like cancer and thyroid disorders.
  7. In carbon dating for predicting age of trees, dead animals and fossils.
  8. In geological dating for predicting age of rocks, monuments, planets etc.
  9. In tracer techniques like finding reaction mechanism and in medical diagnosis.
  10. In industries and petroleum production.
  11. It is used in neutron activation analysis for detecting and measuring small concentration of element in the sample.

Some applications in brief:

Application of radioactivity in physics

application of radioactivity in physics

In physics, it is used in discovering fundamental particles like proton, neutron, positron, alpha particles, beta particles etc. It is also used in finding new elements and their structure. The alpha and beta emission from radioactive element led to discovery of isotopes and isobars which was not earlier discovered. Radioactivity is applied in nuclear reactors for production of huge source of energy for production of electricity. This techniques is used in production of atomic and hydrogen bomb.

Application of radioactivity in chemistry

application of radioactivity in chemistry

It is used in studying mechanism and rate of reaction by tracer techniques. The evolution of O2 comes from H2O but not from carbondioxide during photosynthesis was proved by using O18 isotopes. Similarly, transformation of N-chloroacetanilide into p-acetachloroacetanilide in presence of HCL where cl of HCL is involved in reaction was founded by using radioactive chlorine atom in HCL. The rate of different order of reaction is determined by using one of the radioactive reactant and measuring the radioactive product formed in different interval of time. It is also used in determining solubility of sparingly soluble salts like lead sulphate(PbSO4).

Application of radioactivity in agriculture

application of radioactivity in agriculture

In agriculture, it is used in fertilizers improvement, insects and pest managements, crop improvement etc. The amount of phosphate fertilizers used by different plant parts can be studied by supplying fertilizers containing P32isotopes. Mutation causing from artificial radiation used for crop improvement and production of different hybrid crops are modern days agriculture demand. Insect and pests are one of the major factor that destroy crops. By using certain radiation , these pests losses their reproductive capacity and became sterile which stops the production of new pests and insects.

Application of radioactivity in medicine

As medicine, it is used in radio therapy and medical diagnosis purposes. In treatment of cancer and tumour, Co60isotope is used. Co60emits gamma radiation which destroys cancerous cells during treatment of cancer. Iodine isotope I131is used in treatment of thyroid disorders. Radio phosphorous is used in treatment of leukemia. Sodium isotope Na24is used for increasing blood circulation. Co60is also used in sterilizing medical equipment.

Frequently asked questions and answers about radioactivity

Which is the best nuclear fuel?

Ans: Plutonium-239 is best nuclear fuel which is used in nuclear reactors.

What is carbon dating?

Ans: Carbon dating is the technique of finding age of dead animals, trees, fossils, rocks, planets, monuments by using radioactivity.

Which element is used in carbon dating?

Ans: Isotope of carbon C14 is commonly and widely used in carbon dating.

Which isotope is used during diagnosis of cancer?

Ans: Co60 which emits gamma rays is used during diagnosis of cancer.

Which isotope is used during diagnosis of hyperthyroidism?

Ans: Isotope of iodine I131 is used in treatment of hyperthyroidism and thyroid disorders.

How do insects and pests are controlled by using radioactivity?

Ans: When certain radiation is passed through the body of pests, it alters their reproductive system leading in inability for reproduction and fertilization. It results in sterile condition in organism. And, no new pests and insects are produced which helps in pest management as well as increasing crops production.