Taking a Look at Cobalt 60

808 WordsFeb 21, 20183 Pages
Cobalt 60 Cobalt 60 is one of many radioactive isotopes. It contains 33 neutrons and 27 protons. Most people have not heard of Cobalt-60 unless they are involved in chemistry or the medial field. This isotope is more common than a person thinks. It is an isotope that is useful in the medical field and other places. This paper is all about Cobalt-60 and the history behind it as well as some other useful information. Cobalt was discovered by a Swedish chemist by the name of Georg Brandt. In 1735, Georg was trying to prove that certain minerals had the ability to color glass blue and was not due to bismuth but due to an unknown element (1). Since then, it has developed into a highly useful isotope. When people hear about radioactive isotopes, they wonder where the isotopes come from. The non-radioactive version of cobalt (Cobalt-59) occurs naturally in various minerals (2). It also occurs naturally in the air, water, soil, rocks, plants, and animals (6). Humans even have cobalt in their body, but this is a very small amount. The body contains 1.5 mg of Cobalt-60 and the liver is the principal organ of where a person can find it (1). Some isotopes are made naturally and some are made unnaturally. Radioactive Cobalt-60 is not naturally made. It is formed when cobalt-59 is collided by a neutron making it the radioactive isotope (3). Cobalt decays to form Nickel-60. As it decomposes, it releases gamma radiation. Beta particles also occur when Carbon-60 decays (4). The nuclear
Open Document