Isotopes: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | May 17, 2016

byRob Ellam

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An isotope is a variant form of a chemical element, containing a different number of neutrons in its nucleus. Most elements exist as several isotopes. Many are stable while others are radioactive, and some may only exist fleetingly before decaying into other elements.In this Very Short Introduction, Rob Ellam explains how isotopes have proved enormously important across all the sciences and in archaeology. Radioactive isotopes may be familiar from their use in nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and in medicine, as well as in carbon dating. They have been central toestablishing the age of the Earth and the origins of the solar system. Combining previous and new research, Ellam provides an overview of the nature of stable and radioactive isotopes, and considers their wide range of modern applications. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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From the Publisher

An isotope is a variant form of a chemical element, containing a different number of neutrons in its nucleus. Most elements exist as several isotopes. Many are stable while others are radioactive, and some may only exist fleetingly before decaying into other elements.In this Very Short Introduction, Rob Ellam explains how isotopes have...

Rob Ellam is Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Glasgow and Director of the interdisciplinary Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was Distinguished Lecturer for the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 2012-13. He has worked on isotopes a...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pagesPublished:May 17, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198723628

ISBN - 13:9780198723622

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Table of Contents

Preface: At home with the Beilbys1. Identical outsides ... different insides2. Measuring isotopes - radioactivity counters3. Measuring isotopes - mass spectrometers4. Isotopic clocks - the persistence of carbon5. You are what you eat... plus a few per mil6. Physics heal thyself - isotopes in medicine7. Reconstructing the past - weathering the future8. Scratching the surface with cosmogenic isotopes9. Uranium, thorium, and their daughters10. Cosmic stopped clocksEpilogueFurther ReadingIndex