Uses of radiation in radioactive dating

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There are about 730 radionuclides with half-lives longer than 60 minutes (see list of nuclides).Thirty-two of those are primordial radionuclides that were created before the earth was formed.A small electric voltage is applied to the ionised air which gives rise to a small electric current.In the presence of smoke some of the ions are neutralized, thereby decreasing the current, which activates the detector's alarm.The process of nuclear fission creates a wide range of fission products, most of which are radionuclides.

Smoke detectors use a very small quantity of Am is used as it emits alpha particles which ionise the air in the detector's ionization chamber.An imaging tracer made with radionuclides is called a radioactive tracer.A pharmaceutical drug made with radionuclides is called a radiopharmaceutical.The degree of harm will depend on the nature and extent of the radiation produced, the amount and nature of exposure (close contact, inhalation or ingestion), and the biochemical properties of the element; with increased risk of cancer the most usual consequence.However, radionuclides with suitable properties are used in nuclear medicine for both diagnosis and treatment.Radionuclides are present in many homes as they are used inside the most common household smoke detectors.

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