what are the application of isotopes
1. Isotopes are extensively used to estimate the age of geological formations and archaeological samples.
2. Isotopes can be used as tracers to determine the course, direction and rate of a chemical reaction.
3. Radiocarbon dating - widely used to determine the age of carbonaceous materials.
4. Isotopes also find application in medical (Cancer treatment) and forensic sciences.
5. Isotopes also find application in analytical chemistry - spectroscopy, eg. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy.
Use of Isotope:
- Radiometric dating: using the known half-life of an unstable element, one can calculate the amount of time that has elapsed since a known level of isotope existed. The most widely known example is radiocarbon dating used to determine the age of carbonaceous materials.
- isotopic labeling: the use of unusual isotopes as tracers or markers in chemical reactions
Applications of isotopes
Several applications exist that capitalize on properties of the various isotopes of a given element. Isotope separation is a significant technological challenge, particularly with heavy elements such as uranium or plutonium. Lighter elements such as lithium, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are commonly separated by gas diffusion of their compounds such as CO and NO. The separation of hydrogen and deuterium is unusual since it is based on chemical rather than physical properties, for example in the Girdler sulfide process. Uranium isotopes have been separated in bulk by gas diffusion, gas centrifugation, laser ionization separation, and (in the Manhattan Project) by a type of production mass spectrometry.
Use of chemical and biological properties
- Isotope analysis is the determination of isotopic signature, the relative abundances of isotopes of a given element in a particular sample. For biogenic substances in particular, significant variations of isotopes of C, N and O can occur. Analysis of such variations has a wide range of applications, such as the detection of adulteration of food products or the geographic origins of products using isoscapes. The identification of certain meteorites as having originated on Mars is based in part upon the isotopic signature of trace gases contained in them.
- Isotopic substitution can be used to determine the mechanism of a chemical reaction via the kinetic isotope effect.
- Another common application is isotopic labeling, the use of unusual isotopes as tracers or markers in chemical reactions. Normally, atoms of a given element are indistinguishable from each other. However, by using isotopes of different masses, even different nonradioactive stable isotopes can be distinguished by mass spectrometry orinfrared spectroscopy. For example, in 'stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)' stable isotopes are used to quantify proteins. If radioactive isotopes are used, they can be detected by the radiation they emit (this is called radioisotopic labeling).
Use of nuclear properties
- A technique similar to radioisotopic labeling is radiometric dating: using the known half-life of an unstable element, one can calculate the amount of time that has elapsed since a known level of isotope existed. The most widely known example is radiocarbon dating used to determine the age of carbonaceous materials.
- Several forms of spectroscopy rely on the unique nuclear properties of specific isotopes, both radioactive and stable. For example, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can be used only for isotopes with a nonzero nuclear spin. The most common isotopes used with NMR spectroscopy are 1H, 2D,15N, 13C, and 31P.
- Mössbauer spectroscopy also relies on the nuclear transitions of specific isotopes, such as 57Fe.
- Radionuclides also have important uses. Nuclear power and nuclear weapons development require relatively large quantities of specific isotopes. Nuclear medicine and radiation oncology utilize radioisotopes respectively for medical diagnosis and treatment.
Applications of Isotopes
- An isotope of uranium exhibits nuclear fission properties. It is used in nuclear reactions as a fuel.
- An isotope of cobalt is used for treating cancer.
- An isotope of iodine is used for treating goitre.
- An isotope of carbon is used in radiocarbon dating to determine the age of an organic sample.
- An isotope of calcium is used in biomedical research on cellular functions and bone formation in mammals.
- An isotope of iron is used for detecting sulphur in air.
- An isotope of hydrogen (tritium) is used in estimating the age of water bodies and the rate of their replenishment through precipitation.
- 1. An isotope of uranium exhibits nuclear fission properties. It is used in nuclear reactions as a fuel.
- 2. An isotope of cobalt is used for treating cancer.
- 3. An isotope of iodine is used for treating goitre.
- 4. An isotope of carbon is used in radiocarbon dating to determine the age of an organic sample.
- 5. An isotope of calcium is used in biomedical research on cellular functions and bone formation in mammals.
- 6. An isotope of iron is used for detecting sulphur in air.
- 7. An isotope of hydrogen (tritium) is used in estimating the age of water bodies and the rate of their replenishment through precipitation.
1.ISOTOPE URANIUM 235 IS USED AS FUEL IN NUCLEAR REACTORS.
1.ISOTOPE COBALT 60 IS USED FOR CURING CANCER.
2.ISOTOPE IODINE 131 IS USED FOR TREATMENT OF GOITRE
3.ISOTOPE SODIUM 24 IS USED FOR CURING BLOOD CLOTS
4.ISOTOPE ARSENIC 74 IS USED FOR TREATMENT OF TUMOURS
Let's imagine a pair of identical twins. These twins have the same temperament, and since they're identical, it is very hard to tell them apart unless you examine them closely. When it is time for their annual physical, the twins need to step on a weighing scale, and when they do, one weighs slightly more than the other. In terms of chemistry, we can say that these twins are like isotopes of each other.
Atoms and elements are made of protons, neutrons and electrons. The nucleus is made of protons and neutrons, and the electrons surround the nucleus, as shown in the illustration below. The sum of the number of protons and the number of neutrons is equal to the atomic mass.
In a given element, the number of neutrons can be different from each other, while the number of protons is not. These different versions of the same element are called isotopes. Isotopes are atoms with the same number of protons but that have a different number of neutrons. Since the atomic number is equal to the number of protons and the atomic mass is the sum of protons and neutrons, we can also say that isotopes are elements with the same atomic number but different mass numbers.
Let us take a look at an example.Isotopes of Hydrogen
The three are all isotopes of hydrogen. As you can see, they have the same atomic number, or number of protons, (number at the lower left of the element) but different atomic masses (number at the upper left of the element).
The number of neutrons can be calculated by calculating the difference between the atomic mass and atomic number. We can see that for the isotopes of hydrogen, they have varying number of neutrons. For protium, the number of neutrons is zero, for deuterium, the number of neutrons is one, and for tritium, the number of neutrons is two.
Going back to our comparison with identical twins, we can say that these three isotopes of hydrogen are like identical triplets of each other - they may appear to be identical outside, but they are different inside, and they also have different names.Isotopes of Carbon
A very popular element, carbon, also has isotopes. There are three isotopes of carbon: carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14. The numbers that are after the carbon refer to the atomic mass.
The most common and abundant isotope of carbon is carbon-12. Looking at the percentages below each carbon isotope, we see that almost 98.9 % of the carbon that is found is in the form of carbon-12. The least abundant form of carbon is carbon-14, with an abundance of less than 0.0001%. If we calculate the number of neutrons for each carbon isotope, we can see that they differ from each other. For carbon-12, we have 6 neutrons, for carbon-13, we have 7 neutrons and for carbon-14, we have 8 neutrons.
You may notice if we look at the atomic masses of elements in the periodic table that they are rarely ever whole numbers, just like for carbon where the atomic mass is 12.011. This is because the atomic mass of carbon is based on the average atomic masses of its isotopes and the abundance of each isotope.
Types of Isotopes
There are two main types of isotopes and these are radioactive isotopes and stable isotopes. Stable isotopes have a stable combination of protons and neutrons, so they have stable nuclei and do not undergo decay. These isotopes do not pose dangerous effects to living things, like radioactive isotopes.
They are typically useful when performing experiments in the environment and in the field of geochemistry. These isotopes can help determine the chemical composition and age of minerals and other geologic objects. Some examples of stable isotopes are isotopes of carbon, potassium, calcium and vanadium.
Radioactive isotopes have an unstable combination of protons and neutrons, so they have unstable nuclei. Because these isotopes are unstable, they undergo decay, and in the process can emit alpha, beta and gamma rays.