Uses of radiation dating

The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive dating.Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.If smoke enters the alarm, this absorbs the a particles, the current reduces, and the alarm sounds. In paper mills, the thickness of the paper can be controlled by measuring how much beta radiation passes through the paper to a Geiger counter.The counter controls the pressure of the rollers to give the correct thickness.

Alpha particles are emitted from here, which ionise the air, so that the air conducts electricity and a small current flows.Radiocarbon or Carbon-14 dating is a technique used by scientist to date bones, wood, paper and cloth. It is produced in the Earth’s upper atmosphere when Nitrogen-14 is broken down to form the unstable Carbon-14 by the action of cosmic rays.The unstable Carbon-14 is transported down to the lower atmosphere by atmospheric activity such as storms.The age of the ancient organic materials can be found by measuring the amount of Carbon-14 that is left.The most common tracer is called Technetium-99 and is very safe because it only emits gamma rays and doesn't cause much ionisation.Tracers are commonly used in the medical field and in the study of plants and animals.

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