Importance of Radioisotopes and Isotopes

Some of the isotopes undergo radioactive decay over time, therefore, known as radioactive isotopes. On the other hand, those isotopes not been observed to undergo any form of decay are known as stable isotopes. In general, isotopes have similar chemical properties but different physical properties. For example, hydrogen has three different isotopes (fig 1). 1H, 2H, and 3H. Hydrogen 1 or protium is the most abundant isotope.
As they all have similar chemical properties they can form similar bonds. H2O and D2O are some examples but they have different physical properties. H2O has melting point of 0.0oC and boiling point of 100.0oC but D2O melts at 3.82oC and boils at 101.4oC. (Stoker 55).
Isotopes have various applications in different sectors. In the medical field, radioactive and stable isotopes are used in medical procedures for the purpose of diagnosis and therapeutic use. Isotopes have a significant application in biomedical research field as well as research in physics, biology, chemistry, geosciences and other branches of science and technology.
Isotopes can be used in various ways in the various fields discussed above. They are generally helpful because of their emission properties. Isotopes with short half life decay and emit various radiations such as beta emissions which can be detected by various means. Therefore, they can be used as ‘tracers’. For example, scientists can measure the uptake of nutrients in a plant by using a radioactive isotope of phosphorous. 32P containing compound can be introduced in the soil which is taken up by the plant. It has a short half life of about 2 weeks and the rate of uptake can be found my measuring the time taken for it to appear in the leaves. It can be traced in the leaves by detecting the beta emissions. (Kotz, Treichel and Townsend 1086). Many other applications of radioactive isotopes apply similar technique.
There are many applications of isotopes in the field of medicine. Iodine is an essential