Best isotope to use when dating very old samples
The half-lives of certain types of radioisotopes are very useful to know.
In the field of nondestructive testing radiographers (people who produce radiographs to inspect objects) also use half-life information.
A radiographer who works with radioisotopes needs to know the specific half-life to properly determine how much radiation the source in the camera is producing so that the film can be exposed properly.
After one half-life of a given radioisotope, only one half as much of the original number of atoms remains active.
As we have mentioned before each radioactive isotope has its own decay pattern.
Not only does it decay by giving off energy and matter, but it also decays at a rate that is characteristic to itself.