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Application of isotopes in carbon dating

The half-life of radioactive isotopes is unaffected by any environmental factors, so the isotope acts like an internal clock.For example, if a rock is analyzed and is found to contain a certain amount of uranium-235 and a certain amount of its daughter isotope, we can conclude that a certain fraction of the original uranium-235 has radioactively decayed.Technetium-99 can also be used to test thyroid function.Bones, the heart, the brain, the liver, the lungs, and many other organs can be imaged in similar ways by using the appropriate radioactive isotope.If half of the uranium has decayed, then the rock has an age of one half-life of uranium-235, or about 4.5 × 10 y.

Radioactive isotopes are useful for establishing the ages of various objects.Shroud of Turin In 1989, several groups of scientists used carbon-14 dating to demonstrate that the Shroud of Turin was only 600–700 y.Many people still cling to a different notion, despite the scientific evidence.The thyroid gland in the neck is one of the few places in the body with a significant concentration of iodine.To evaluate thyroid activity, a measured dose of I is administered to a patient, and the next day a scanner is used to measure the amount of radioactivity in the thyroid gland.

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The radiation emitted by some radioactive substances can be used to kill microorganisms on a variety of foodstuffs, extending the shelf life of these products.

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