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Thread: Radioactivity

  1. #1 Radioactivity 
    Forum Sophomore Hymenophyllum's Avatar
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    I have to choose two subjects from chemistry to make a presentation - natural or artificial radioactivity. I know that everything is about alpha, beta, etc, but I wonder which type can be more closely connected to the medicine (what is used in medicine, how and why, despite X-rays) and what more i can tell beyond alpha, beta etc.? Which topic is more "interesting"?
    I asked uncle google, but he only gives me definitions.


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    X-rays are radiation but are not related to radioactivity. There are naturally occurring radioactive materials, and there are radioactive materials that are produced inside nuclear reactors. I think most if not all radioactive materials used in medicine are artificial. Do a bit more googling and you will find plenty of information on radionuclides used for nuclear medicine, what they are used for, and how they are produced.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    I have to choose two subjects from chemistry to make a presentation - natural or artificial radioactivity. I know that everything is about alpha, beta, etc, but I wonder which type can be more closely connected to the medicine (what is used in medicine, how and why, despite X-rays) and what more i can tell beyond alpha, beta etc.? Which topic is more "interesting"?
    I asked uncle google, but he only gives me definitions.
    Or, you could take another tack, since this is chemistry, and talk about the modes of uptake and the biological concentration of medically dangerous radioactive contaminants, such as Sr 90 (mimics Ca), I 131 etc. Come to think of it, I 131 is used in radiotherapy too I think.

    P.S. Your written English is good: better than that of some people on this forum for whom it is their mother tongue.
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    Forum Sophomore Hymenophyllum's Avatar
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    So the ideas are:
    - nuclear medicine
    - radioactive contaminants (but does it suit the topic about artifical radioactivity?)
    Any other concepts?
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    So the ideas are:
    - nuclear medicine
    - radioactive contaminants (but does it suit the topic about artifical radioactivity?)
    Any other concepts?
    Does it have to be related to medicine or was this just one of your ideas? If not then of course you can widen the scope to natural radioisotopes from the earth, from cosmic ray bombardment, and so on and so on. For example C14 as used in radiocarbon dating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    So the ideas are:
    - nuclear medicine
    - radioactive contaminants (but does it suit the topic about artifical radioactivity?)
    Any other concepts?
    Radioactive contamination does suit the topic of artificial radioactivity, because some possible sources of contamination are fallout from nuclear bomb tests, nuclear waste, and contamination from nuclear accidents. There are also natural sources of contamination, like radon in homes.
    I think an interesting topic is the actual health risk of radiation and radioactive materials. There isn't much real data on the effects of low dosages of radiation, and it is usually complicated by other factors. Be careful when researching this, because it is politically charged and you will come across a lot of biased opinions.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Sophomore Hymenophyllum's Avatar
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    Let me dispel doubts.

    I have just chose artifical radioavticity, because i am very keen on medicine and I think it may be easier for me to present such topic in medical context. Of course other ideas would be good too.

    Because i failed with x-rays I will better ask if this Radiation therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is related to artifical radioactivity.

    I found some respectable articles about health risk on WHO and WNA.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    Let me dispel doubts.

    I have just chose artifical radioavticity, because i am very keen on medicine and I think it may be easier for me to present such topic in medical context. Of course other ideas would be good too.

    Because i failed with x-rays I will better ask if this Radiation therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is related to artifical radioactivity.

    I found some respectable articles about health risk on WHO and WNA.
    What do you mean you failed with x-rays? X-rays are produced by accelerating electrons to strike a metal target. They are similar to gamma rays which are emitted from radioactive materials, but generally have longer wavelength.
    The Wikipedia article on radiation therapy discusses both X-rays and radioisotopes. The radioisotopes are artificial. Some of the radioisotopes they discuss are iodine-131, lutetium-177 and yttrium-90, which are produced in nuclear reactors.

    http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/...-3-att2_en.pdf
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    Thank you.

    Should I say sth about A-bomb or cobalt bomb?
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  11. #10  
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    It's your paper. Write about whatever interests you.
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  12. #11  
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    Yes but I do not know the topic as much as I should. Teacher surprised me when she suddeny came to me and said: make a presentation about radioactivity. I did some researchers in my personal library, but I didn't find anything about this topic, so I do not have any basis to work on. That's why I'm asking for everything.

    Presentation plan:
    1. Basics like alpha, beta, gamma. Then I should say something about bombarding atoms with alpha molecules. Do we use only alpha molecules to bombard? Does it lead to receiving new atoms? From where do we take those molecules?

    2. Application of artifical radioactivity. There I'll tell about nuclear medicine including history and methods (chemotheraphy, PET). After that something about health risk should be presented. Maybe I will say sth about A-bomb or cobalt bomb.

    And I am running out of ideas. What should be 3rd part? What I can say as the end?
    Last edited by Hymenophyllum; June 8th, 2014 at 05:54 AM.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    Yes but I do not know the topic as much as I should. Teacher surprised me when she suddeny came to me and said: make a presentation about radioactivity. I did some researchers in my personal library, but I didn't find anything about this topic, so I do not have any basis to work on. That's why I'm asking for everything.

    Presentation plan:
    1. Basics like alpha, beta, gamma. Then I should say something about bombarding atoms with alpha molecules. Do we use only alpha molecules to bombard? Does it lead to receiving new atoms? From where do we take those molecules?

    2. Application of artifical radioactivity. There I'll tell about nuclear medicine including history and methods (chemotheraphy, PET). After that something about health risk should be presented. Maybe I will say sth about A-bomb or cobalt bomb.

    And I am running out of ideas. What should be 3rd part? What I can say as the end?
    You seem to be doing fine. Have confidence. You can maybe close with some remarks about radioactivity being both a blessing and a curse, that is, good and bad for mankind. But since it is all around us (cosmic rays), we can't avoid it anyway. I'm sure you will think of something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    Yes but I do not know the topic as much as I should.
    Then learn more about it. It is incredibly easy in this age of the internet to find information. Find out what the isotopes are that are used in nuclear medicine. What are they used for? Why is one isotope better for a certain purpose than another? How and where are the isotopes produced? What is the nuclear reaction? What are the safety precautions required for handling the nuclear materials. There was some medical radionuclide stolen recently in Mexico. What was the isotope? What could have happened if the thieves had opened the container?

    You could go a lot of different directions. After you have learned enough about the subject, the paper will practically write itself. That's the whole purpose of writing the paper - to get you to do some research and learn about it.
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  15. #14  
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    Now I'm a little bit more self-confident while closing to an end. Actually I find it very interesting

    Anyway I have one more problem, because teacher also told me to say something about "lights and shadows". My 1st thought was that it is a kind of physical process, but google says that it is about pros and cons of radioactivity. I'm asking just to be sure. I am uncertain if i will be able to meet the teacher in school before my presentation and ask her, so I am asking you guys.
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  16. #15  
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    I've never heard the expression "lights and shadows" but I suppose it could mean pros and cons.
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