Date of Award
Masters of Science
Galen W. Ewing
Since discovery of radioactivity at the turn of the century, the use of radioactive isotopes has become increasingly significant to research in the fields of chemistry, biology, botany, and medicine. An important use of these radioactive isotopes is the tracer or indicator method. For example, a portion of radioactive potassium may be added to a sample of of stable potassium to be studied. The fact that a given isotope is radioactive does not, in most cases, affect its chemical properties. The presence of the active isotope allows the potassium now to be followed through a chemical or biological process. This tracer method is very useful to the chemist, for it can be applied to the study of isotopic exchange reactions, chemical kinetics, structural, and analytical chemistry.
Mewherter, Anita Camilli, "Szilard-Chalmers reactions" (1953). Honors Theses. 2234.