P4f: Uses of Radioisotopes

The uses of radioisotopes include tracers, smoke alarms, cancer treatment and radio active dating. This item illustrates the use of contemporary scientific and technological developments and their benefits, drawback and risks. It also provides the opportunity to use ICT in teaching and learning, while work on dating rocks illustrate show ICT is used by scientists. 

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Why can background radiation vary?
Because it comes from artificial and natural sources.
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Where does background radiation mainly come from?
Cosmic rays and rocks.
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Three industrial examples of the uses of tracers.
To track dispersal of waste, to find leaks/blockages in underground pipes, and to find the route of underground pipes.
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What are alpha sources used in?
Some smoke detectors.
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What can be used to date rocks?
Radioactivity.
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Some background radiation comes from waste from...
Industries and hospitals.
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What are cosmic rays?
Radiation that reaches the Earth from space
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What are Rocks and Soil? (background radiation)
Some rocks are radioactive and give off radioactive radon gas
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What are living things? (background radiation)
plants absorb radioactive materials from the soil and these pass up the food chain
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Three ways in which human activity has contributed to background radiation.
Nuclear missiles, X-Rays and Nuclear Power.
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How are tracers used in industry?
Radioactive material is put into a pipe, progress is tracked using a detector above ground/outside pipe, the leak/blockage is shown by reduction/no radioactivity after the point of blockage.
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Why is gamma radiation used as an industrial tracer?
Gamma rays easily pass through many substances.
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How does a smoke detector with an alpha source work?
Smoke particles hit by alpha radiation, less ionisation of air particles, current is reduced causing alarm to sound.
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Explain the idea of dating rocks. (Uranium and lead)
Rocks often contain traces of uranium. This is unstable and eventually decays to lead, which is stable. The age of a rock can be calculated if its ratio of uranium to lead is known.
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What can measurements from radioactive carbon be used to find?
The date of old materials.
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Young rocks have a ... uranium to lead ratio.
High
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Very Old rocks have a ... uranium to lead ratio.
Low
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Explain how measurements of the activity of radioactive carbon can lead to an approximate age for different materials.
no.carbon14 in air hasn't changed for 1000s years,when object dies gaseous exchange with air stops,as carbon14 in object decays,activity of sample decreases,ratio of current activity from living matter to activity of sample is used to calculate age
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Where does background radiation mainly come from?

Back

Cosmic rays and rocks.

Card 3

Front

Three industrial examples of the uses of tracers.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are alpha sources used in?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What can be used to date rocks?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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