Nuclear chemistry is a field of chemistry that deals with the use of radioactive isotopes and other nuclear reactions.Nuclear reactions provide us with enormous amounts of energy.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay.A useful application of half-lives is radioactive dating.Free 5-day trial What can the sun do that we can't? Are radioactive isotopes helpful in the medical field?
He is credited to be the first scientist to suggest that the unstable carbon isotope called radiocarbon or carbon 14 might exist in living matter. Libby and his team of scientists were able to publish a paper summarizing the first detection of radiocarbon in an organic sample. Libby who first measured radiocarbon’s rate of decay and established 5568 years ± 30 years as the half-life. Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition of his efforts to develop radiocarbon dating.History, anthropology, and archaeology are three distinct but closely related bodies of knowledge that tell man of his present by virtue of his past.Historians can tell what cultures thrived in different regions and when they disintegrated.Radiocarbon, or carbon 14, is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms.It is rapidly oxidized in air to form carbon dioxide and enters the global carbon cycle.
Radioactive isotopes are used to determine the age of old artifacts, diagnose disease, and treat certain types of medical conditions.