Uses of uranium lead dating
Small concentrations of short-lived isotopes can be detected whilst no residues remain in the environment.By adding small amounts of radioactive substances to materials used in various processes it is possible to study the mixing and flow rates of a wide range of materials, including liquids, powders, and gases and to locate leaks.Back in the day, when chemists (alchemists) were getting good at purifying samples and making fancy chemicals, they got pretty cocky about turning stuff into other stuff.But while you can use basic chemical reactions to turn hydrogen and oxygen into water, or flour and water into bread, there’s no combination of chemicals and reactions that even start to change one element into another.This would add a neutron, which changes some of the sample into platinum 197, which would then execute a β decay has a half-life of about 20 hours, so once you irradiate your platinum you only have to wait a few days before extracting the trace amounts of gold from your sample.There’s also an isotope of mercury, mercury 196, that can be turned into gold (it’s above and two to the left from gold 197).Industrial gamma radiography exploits the ability of various types of radiation to penetrate materials to different extents.
What transmutations should have tried the ancient Alchemist instead of the famous lead-gold one, in order to find an easy and useful success? Before the late 19th century, no body had ever observed one element turning into another, and until the 20th century there was no equipment on Earth that had the faintest prayer of successfully changing one element into another (on purpose).
In some cases it makes them so spectacularly radioactive that they immediately fly apart, and if they also produce a spray of neutrons, then you’ve got yourself the makings of a bomb or a power plant. All of the isotopes, with the number of neutrons increasing as you go to the right, and the number of protons (which is the “atomic number” or “element number”) increasing as you go up.