It is known as radioisotope to the isotope of an element that presents radioactivity. This means that the isotope in question is radioactive.
It should be remembered that isotopes are those chemical elements that have an identical amount of protons, although a different figure of neutrons. Due to this particularity, isotopes share chemical properties and are found in the same place within the periodic table of elements.
Radioactivity, for its part, is the property of bodies whose atomsWhen they spontaneously disintegrate, they emit radiation. The radiation ionizes the medium it passes through, achieving different effects.
Radioisotopes, in short, are isotopes that have nuclei capable of developing the emission of Energy by way of ionizing radiation, a process they carry out while seeking to achieve greater stability.
Due to their radioactivity, radioisotopes have an atomic nucleus that is unstable. When trying to adopt more stable configurations, these elements release energy (gamma rays, beta or alpha). This characteristic makes radioisotopes useful in archeology, medicine and agriculture, for example.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the applications of radioisotopes in various fields of human knowledge:
* treatment and diagnosis of certain diseases;
* Another of the uses that medicine gives to radioisotopes is the sterilization of instruments that are frequently used both in the surgical and clinical fields;
* in the world of industry and technology, are used to check welds and construction materials, to complement research projects and to control some production processes;
* agriculture finds a utility for radioisotopes in preserving food and controlling pests;
* in the field of art, they serve several purposes, such as helping to verify certain objects of historical interest or to restore artistic pieces that have been damaged or deteriorated for different reasons;
* for archeology, radioisotopes are used to determine the date of a geological event, among other issues;
* In pharmacology, before a drug can be approved so that it can be marketed and used by the public, radioisotopes are used to study its metabolism.
To detect a radioisotope, what you do is measure the radiation emitted by each atom. Bliss measurement it will be more or less easy to specify according to the intensity of the emission and the kind of radiation.
The so-called synthetic radioisotopes are those that are not found naturally on our planet, but must be created through reactions nuclear. The latter are also known by the name of nuclear processes, and it is about the work that results in the transformation of atomic nuclei and sub-atomic particles from their combination. Nuclear reactions can be exothermic (if they give off energy) or endothermic (if they need energy to be carried out).
One of the best known synthetic radioisotopes is metastable technetium-99, which finds its use in the field of medicine, specifically in the process identification of blood vessels that have suffered some type of blockage. To obtain it, it is necessary to disintegrate the radionuclide named 99Mo.
It is known as half-life, in the field of radiochemistry and nuclear physics, weather It takes 50% of the nuclei in a radioisotope sample to disintegrate. Other names by which it is possible to find this concept are half-life, half-life and half-life constant. Its use is very wide and it is represented by the Greek letter “lambda”.