Generally speaking, specialist companies manufacture radioactive nuclides by placing samples of material in a nuclear reactor for a time.
It should be noted, however, that materials are not made radioactive by placing them near a radioactive source.
Organisms at the base of the food chain that photosynthesize – for example, plants and algae – use the carbon in Earth’s atmosphere.
They have the same ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 as the atmosphere, and this same ratio is then carried up the food chain all the way to apex predators, like sharks.
If smoke enters the alarm, this absorbs the a particles, the current reduces, and the alarm sounds. In paper mills, the thickness of the paper can be controlled by measuring how much beta radiation passes through the paper to a Geiger counter.
The counter controls the pressure of the rollers to give the correct thickness.
Because the cosmic ray bombardment is fairly constant, there’s a near-constant level of carbon-14 to carbon-12 ratio in Earth’s atmosphere.
In tracer applications radioactive isotopes are employed, for example, to measure the effectiveness of motor oils on the wearability of alloys for piston rings and cylinder walls in automobile engines.
For additional information about industrial uses, techniques, which are based on the principle that a particular radioisotope (radioactive parent) in geologic material decays at a constant known rate to daughter isotopes.
Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13.
Here’s an example using the simplest atom, hydrogen. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.