radioactivity,spontaneous disintegration or decay of the nucleus of an atom by emission of particles, usually accompanied by electromagnetic radiation. of California and was a chemist (1941–45) in the war research division at Columbia......
The energy produced by radioactivity has important military and industrial applications...... the branch of chemistry concerned with the chemistry of radioisotopes, elements, and substances, the laws governing the physicochemical behavior of this radioactive matter, the chemistry of nuclear transformations, and the physicochemical processes that accompany these transformations.
Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.
For example, by feeding plants carbon dioxide that contains the radioisotope carbon-14 and by monitoring the carbon compounds through the plants' life cycle, the intermediate stages of the photosynthetic process can be determined. Most natural radioisotopes are daughter isotopes, that is, products of the decay of Th.
The concentrations of some of these isotopes in the equiponderant ores U and Th per 1 gram of pure parent isotope are presented in Table 1 on page 421.
The isotope C and counting the amount of each) allows one to date the death of the once-living things.
Perhaps you have heard of Ice Man, a man living in the Alps who died and was entombed in glacial ice until recently when the ice moved and melted.
Radioisotopes are also obtained artificially by irradiating various substances with nuclear particles. In many cases, hundreds, tens, or even just a few atoms of radioisotopes are present in many other atoms.