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Radioactivity is used in many aspects of society today. Since its discovery in the 1890s, there have been a wide variety of developments in this field. Radioactivity can be dangerous if used incorrectly, however, most of us use it every day. It is used to keep us safe in our home, power buildings, for medical purposes, for food irradiation, agricultural applications and in nuclear weapons.

Radiation and radioactivity utilizes its high energy and penetrating ability to damage and kill cells as well as penetrate through materials. That is specifically why radioactivity has a wide range of applications. Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation each have different radioactive properties. This allows certain applications, such as smoke detectors, to utilize sensitive alpha radiation.

Non-ionizing radiation is used in practical settings. This ensures the cells are not damaged or killed. Non-ionizing radiation is used in lasers, microwave ovens, mobile phones, MRI and in many devices in the medical field.

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A technique used to date materials based on the ratio of carbon-14 and carbon-12.


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Nuclear weapons are explosive devices that utilize fission and or fusion to be highly destructive.