We delve a little into Radiation and some of the real-life uses. Add in a little perspective and science and we have an episode about radiation half-lives. Take a listen!
5:45 Radiation Half Life
- Half life refers to the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms to decay
- Half life of a radioactive isotope is not linear (it’s a curve)
- There is an equation for figuring out half life
9:00 Half Life Equations
10:41 How Do We Actually Use Half Life Equations?
- Carbon Dating (Carbon 14)
- Very small isotope of carbon dioxide contains C14
- Plants use carbon during photosynthesis
- C14 is incorporated into the plant and then it is eaten by other animals and C14 becomes part of the structure of all living things
- Carbon has a half life of 5,730 years
- Can only determine age of things that were once “alive” with C14
14:00 Catalyzing Nuclear Reactions (1930s)
- Bombardment of isotopes hits the nucleus
- Nuclear fission can create new elements by releasing tons of energy
- Energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed
- Mass gets turned into energy. Very little mass is needed to generate a tremendous amount of energy
- 19 kiloton nuclear device all that energy comes from .9grams of matter being converted into energy
- 1 neutron is used and 3 are produced (domino effect)
- This concept is utilized in a nuclear reactor
27:00 Fusion vs Fission
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