If you’ve ever wondered how long nuclear energy can potentially stick around for, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re about to explore the half-life of one particularly popular nuclear element – cesium-137. From where it comes from to how long it lasts, this article will work to break down and explain the science behind this radioactive element. Here’s what you need to know about the half-life of cesium-137.
Cesium 137 is an isotope of Cesium with a 30-year half life. This means that if you had a sample of cesium 137 at the start, after 30 years only half of it would still remain. This makes cesium 137 an important source of radiation, due to its steady decay over time.
Cesium 137 is used in a wide variety of applications, including medical treatments, industrial gauges, and smoke detectors. It is also used as a radiation source for radiotherapy treatments, since it emits radiation in a predictable and controllable manner.
Notable uses of cesium 137 include:
- Medical treatments: cesium 137 can be used to treat some illnesses such as cancer, thyroid nodules, and bone metastases.
- Industrial gauges: cesium 137 is used in gamma ray gauges to measure thickness and density of materials.
- Smoke detectors: cesium 137 is used in some smoke detectors to detect low concentrations of smoke.
- Radiotherapy treatments: cesium 137 is used as a source of radiation for radiotherapy treatments, which are used to treat a range of illnesses such as cancer.
Cesium 137 has a wide range of applications due to its predictable and consistent rate of decay over the course of its 30-year half life.
We hope this article had given you a better idea on the science of cesium-137, its properties, and the half-life of the element. With knowing more details on cesium-137, you can now move forward in further exploring its application in fields such as healthcare, engineering, and atomic energy.