Uses of Radioactive Substances in Various Fields
In agriculture, carbon-14 is usedto study the path of carbon on photosynthesis. Next, gamma rays is used to induce mutations in plants and animals to get better varities. Lastly, phosphorus-31 is added to phosphorus fertilizers to study the absorption rate of fertilizers by plants.
Radioactive substances is also used to preserve food, for example fruits and vegetables, so that they can last for a longer period of time. Gamma rays are used in food preservation so that fungi and bacteria can be killed even after the food has been packaged.
In industries sectors, radioactive substances such as beta rays, sodium-24 and uranium-235 are used. Beta rays is used to control and check the thickness of materials such as paper, aluminium sheets and plastics. Sodium-24, on the other hand can be used as tracer to detect pipe leakage. Lastly, uranium-235 is used to generate electricity for satellite and carry large amounts of energy and coded information along the way.
In the medical field, radioactive substances such as iodine-131 is injected into the patient's body as a tracer to check the function of thyroid gland and the growth of tumor.
In this field, carbon-14 is used to determine age of the fossils by measuring the carbon-14 that is left in the fossils.