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| IUPAC name |
| Systematic IUPAC name |
|Other names |
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|T2O or 3H2O|
|Molar mass||22.0315 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||4.48 °C (40.06 °F; 277.63 K) |
|Boiling point||101.51 °C (214.72 °F; 374.66 K)|
|Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):|
|corrosive and radioactive|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Tritiated water is a radioactive form of water in which the usual protium atoms are replaced with tritium. In its pure form it may be called tritium oxide (T2O or 3H2O) or super-heavy water. Pure T2O is corrosive due to self-radiolysis. Diluted, tritiated water is mainly H2O plus some HTO (3HOH). It is also used as a tracer for water transport studies in life-science research. Furthermore, since it naturally occurs in minute quantities, it can be used to determine the age of various water-based liquids, such as vintage wines.
The name super-heavy water helps distinguish the tritiated material from heavy water, which contains deuterium instead.
Tritiated water can be used to measure the total volume of water in one's body. Tritiated water distributes itself into all body compartments relatively quickly. The concentration of tritiated water in urine is assumed to be similar to the concentration of tritiated water in the body. Knowing the original amount of tritiated water that was ingested and the concentration, one can calculate the volume of water in the body.
Tritiated water contains the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium. As a low energy beta emitter with a half-life of about 12 years, it is not dangerous externally because its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin. However, it is a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin.   HTO has a short biological half-life in the human body of 7 to 14 days, which both reduces the total effects of single-incident ingestion and precludes long-term bioaccumulation of HTO from the environment.   Biological half-life of tritiated water in the human body, which is a measure of body water turnover, varies with season. Studies on the biological half-life of occupational radiation workers for free water tritium in the coastal region of Karnataka, India show that the biological half-life in the winter season is twice that of the summer season. 
Heavy water is a form of water that contains only deuterium rather than the common hydrogen-1 isotope that makes up most of the hydrogen in normal water. The presence of the heavier hydrogen isotope gives the water different nuclear properties, and the increase in mass gives it slightly different physical and chemical properties when compared to normal water.
Protactinium is a radioactive chemical element with the symbol Pa and atomic number 91. It is a dense, silvery-gray actinide metal which readily reacts with oxygen, water vapor and inorganic acids. It forms various chemical compounds in which protactinium is usually present in the oxidation state +5, but it can also assume +4 and even +3 or +2 states. Concentrations of protactinium in the Earth's crust are typically a few parts per trillion, but may reach up to a few parts per million in some uraninite ore deposits. Because of its scarcity, high radioactivity and high toxicity, there are currently no uses for protactinium outside scientific research, and for this purpose, protactinium is mostly extracted from spent nuclear fuel.
Polonium is a chemical element with the symbol Po and atomic number 84. A rare and highly radioactive metal with no stable isotopes, polonium is a chalcogen and is chemically similar to selenium and tellurium, though its metallic character resembles that of its horizontal neighbors in the periodic table: thallium, lead, and bismuth. Due to the short half-life of all its isotopes, its natural occurrence is limited to tiny traces of the fleeting polonium-210 in uranium ores, as it is the penultimate daughter of natural uranium-238. Though slightly longer-lived isotopes exist, they are much more difficult to produce. Today, polonium is usually produced in milligram quantities by the neutron irradiation of bismuth. Due to its intense radioactivity, which results in the radiolysis of chemical bonds and radioactive self-heating, its chemistry has mostly been investigated on the trace scale only.
Radium is a chemical element with the symbol Ra and atomic number 88. It is the sixth element in group 2 of the periodic table, also known as the alkaline earth metals. Pure radium is silvery-white, but it readily reacts with nitrogen (rather than oxygen) upon exposure to air, forming a black surface layer of radium nitride (Ra3N2). All isotopes of radium are radioactive, the most stable isotope being radium-226 with a half-life of 1,600 years. When radium decays, it emits ionizing radiation as a by-product, which can excite fluorescent chemicals and cause radioluminescence.
In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. This includes:
Tritium or hydrogen-3 is a rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen with a half-life of about 12 years. The nucleus of tritium contains one proton and two neutrons, whereas the nucleus of the common isotope hydrogen-1 (protium) contains one proton and zero neutrons, and that of hydrogen-2 (deuterium) contains one proton and one neutron.
Uranium is a chemical element with symbol U and atomic number 92. It is a silvery-grey metal in the actinide series of the periodic table. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons. Uranium radioactively decays by emitting an alpha particle. The half-life of this decay varies between 159,200 and 4.5 billion years for different isotopes, making them useful for dating the age of the Earth. The most common isotopes in natural uranium are uranium-238 and uranium-235. Uranium has the highest atomic weight of the primordially occurring elements. Its density is about 70% higher than that of lead, and slightly lower than that of gold or tungsten. It occurs naturally in low concentrations of a few parts per million in soil, rock and water, and is commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite.
Nuclear chemistry is the sub-field of chemistry dealing with radioactivity, nuclear processes, and transformations in the nuclei of atoms, such as nuclear transmutation and nuclear properties.
Radiation protection, also known as radiological protection, is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "The protection of people from harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the means for achieving this". Exposure can be from a source of radiation external to the human body or due to internal irradiation caused by the ingestion of radioactive contamination.
A radioactive tracer, radiotracer, or radioactive label is a chemical compound in which one or more atoms have been replaced by a radionuclide so by virtue of its radioactive decay it can be used to explore the mechanism of chemical reactions by tracing the path that the radioisotope follows from reactants to products. Radiolabeling or radiotracing is thus the radioactive form of isotopic labeling. In biological contexts, use of radioisotope tracers are sometimes called radioisotope feeding experiments.
Radioactive contamination, also called radiological pollution, is the deposition of, or presence of radioactive substances on surfaces or within solids, liquids, or gases, where their presence is unintended or undesirable.
Nuclear fission products are the atomic fragments left after a large atomic nucleus undergoes nuclear fission. Typically, a large nucleus like that of uranium fissions by splitting into two smaller nuclei, along with a few neutrons, the release of heat energy, and gamma rays. The two smaller nuclei are the fission products..
Tritium radioluminescence is the use of gaseous tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, to create visible light. Tritium emits electrons through beta decay and, when they interact with a phosphor material, light is emitted through the process of phosphorescence. The overall process of using a radioactive material to excite a phosphor and ultimately generate light is called radioluminescence. As tritium illumination requires no electrical energy, it has found wide use in applications such as emergency exit signs, illumination of wristwatches, and portable yet very reliable sources of low intensity light which won't degrade human night vision. Gun sights for night use and small lights used mostly by military personnel fall under the latter application.
Neutron activation is the process in which neutron radiation induces radioactivity in materials, and occurs when atomic nuclei capture free neutrons, becoming heavier and entering excited states. The excited nucleus decays immediately by emitting gamma rays, or particles such as beta particles, alpha particles, fission products, and neutrons. Thus, the process of neutron capture, even after any intermediate decay, often results in the formation of an unstable activation product. Such radioactive nuclei can exhibit half-lives ranging from small fractions of a second to many years.
Iodine-131 is an important radioisotope of iodine discovered by Glenn Seaborg and John Livingood in 1938 at the University of California, Berkeley. It has a radioactive decay half-life of about eight days. It is associated with nuclear energy, medical diagnostic and treatment procedures, and natural gas production. It also plays a major role as a radioactive isotope present in nuclear fission products, and was a significant contributor to the health hazards from open-air atomic bomb testing in the 1950s, and from the Chernobyl disaster, as well as being a large fraction of the contamination hazard in the first weeks in the Fukushima nuclear crisis. This is because 131I is a major fission product of uranium and plutonium, comprising nearly 3% of the total products of fission. See fission product yield for a comparison with other radioactive fission products. 131I is also a major fission product of uranium-233, produced from thorium.
Hydrogen (1H) has three naturally occurring isotopes, sometimes denoted 1
, and 3
are stable, while 3
has a half-life of 12.32(2) years. Heavier isotopes also exist, all of which are synthetic and have a half-life of less than one zeptosecond (10−21 s). Of these, 5
is the least stable, while 7
is the most.
Radioluminescence is the phenomenon by which light is produced in a material by bombardment with ionizing radiation such as alpha particles, beta particles, or gamma rays. Radioluminescence is used as a low level light source for night illumination of instruments or signage. Radioluminescent paint is occasionally used for clock hands and instrument dials, enabling them to be read in the dark. Radioluminescence is also sometimes seen around high-power radiation sources, such as nuclear reactors and radioisotopes.
Various radionuclides emit beta particles, high-speed electrons or positrons, through radioactive decay of their atomic nucleus. These can be used in a range of different industrial, scientific, and medical applications. This article lists some common beta-emitting radionuclides of technological importance, and their properties.
Radioactivity is generally used in life sciences for highly sensitive and direct measurements of biological phenomena, and for visualizing the location of biomolecules radiolabelled with a radioisotope.
In chemistry, the decay technique is a method to generate chemical species such as radicals, carbocations, and other potentially unstable covalent structures by radioactive decay of other compounds. For example, decay of a tritium-labeled molecule yields an ionized helium atom, which might then break off to leave a cationic molecular fragment.