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Skip Navigation LinksKCC Home > Academic Departments > Biological Sciences > 11New > Bio 11 Webpages > Union 3, Lesson 3

Lesson 3 - Isotopes and Radioactivity

Student Performance Objectives
1. Define nuclear decay, nuclear stability and half-life.
2. Draw the Bohr models for hydrogen, deuterium and tritium.
3. Define biological half-life and background radiation.
4. Explain the difference in ionizing radiation exposure when a simple x-ray, an angiogram or
    magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used in a medical imaging procedure.


Lesson Outline
Lesson Outline
A. Concept of ionizing radiation, sources and atomic nuclear stability.
    1. Nuclear decay 
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_decay
    
2. Medical applications. See
        
http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/en/ or
       
 http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/about/what_is_ir/en/

B. Diagram hydrogen, deuterium and tritium. See
       
 http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/isotopes/
C. Radioisotopes and half-life.
    1. Physical half-life - time for 50% of atoms to decay to more stable
        forms. See
       
 http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/isotopes/radioactive_decay3.html
    2. Biological half-life - time for half to disappear from the human body
        generally through excretion.
D. Practical considerations
    1. Background radiation from the sun and outer space.
    2. Medical sources from dental and chest X-rays, CT scans.
    3. Compare ionizing radiation to MRI's, sonograms, and thermograms.
    4. Consider angiograms - one such motion picture X-ray procedure exposes one to the
        equivalent of thousands of chest X-rays.







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