Although it can be destructive, radioactivity is also beneficial, especially when it comes to medical tests and certain medical treatments. Not only can radiation find tumors within the body, it can also destroy them or slow their growth. Without radiation, society would not have medical imaging technology, such as X-rays. Radiation also makes it possible to study matter, plants and animals in an effort to understand the universe better.Continue Reading
Radiation can also be used to create electrical energy. Nuclear reactor plants are located all over the country for this purpose. These plants use uranium in fission reactions to produce heat and steam. The steam is then used to turn a turbine, thus creating electricity.
Additionally, radiation can be used to clean and sterilize medical equipment, medical instruments and even food. This is accomplished by focusing concentrated beams on objects that need to be sterilized. The radiation kills bacteria and other organisms that cause contamination and disease. Since sterilization is performed using certain types of radiation along with electromagnetic energy, there is no residual radiation leftover to contaminate the objects.
While radiation has many benefits, too much of it can kill people, animals, plants, trees and any other living thing it comes into contact with on Earth. This is especially true if there is prolonged exposure.Learn more about States of Matter
In 1896, French scientist Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity which was an early contribution to atomic theory. He discovered this phenomenon while experimenting with uranium and a photographic plate.Full Answer >
Scintillation counters are important tools for detecting and measuring radioactivity. They work by exposing radioactive materials to atoms within the detector that temporarily absorb the radiated energy. These excited atoms return to their unexcited state and emit photons that are detected by the scintillation counter.Full Answer >
Amethyst gets its purplish color because of the presence of iron and other impurities in the gem, and their reaction to the gem's natural radioactivity. Amethyst is made out of quartz. Pure quartz is often clear and colorless.Full Answer >
Irene Joliot-Curie and her husband Frederic were both nuclear physicists who experimented with the manipulation of elements, particularly as it related to their radioactivity. Her crowning achievement came in 1936 with the discovery that radioactive isotopes could be created from otherwise stable elements.Full Answer >