Isotope dating information

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Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!Radioactive isotopes of radium, thorium, and uranium, for example, are found naturally in rocks and soil.Uranium and thorium also occur in trace amounts in water.More than 1,000 radioactive isotopes of the various elements are known.Approximately 50 of these are found in nature; the rest are produced artificially as the direct products of nuclear reactions or indirectly as the radioactive descendants of these products.cobalt-60 is extensively employed as a radiation source to arrest the development of cancer.industry, radioactive isotopes of various kinds are used for measuring the thickness of metal or plastic sheets; their precise thickness is indicated by the strength of the radiations that penetrate the material being inspected.They also may be employed in place of large X-ray machines to examine manufactured metal parts for structural defects.

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Other radioactive isotopes are produced by humans via nuclear reactions, which result in unstable combinations of neutrons and protons.Radon, generated by the radioactive decay of radium, is present in air.Organic materials typically contain small amounts of radioactive carbon and potassium.Radioactive isotope, also called radioisotope, radionuclide, or radioactive nuclide, any of several species of the same chemical element with different masses whose nuclei are unstable and dissipate excess energy by spontaneously emitting radiation in the form of alpha, beta, and gamma rays.A radioactive isotope, also known as a radioisotope, radionuclide, or radioactive nuclide, is any of several species of the same chemical element with different masses whose nuclei are unstable and dissipate excess energy by spontaneously emitting radiation in the form of alpha, beta, and gamma rays.

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