85Kr—a gaseous radioactive source in electronic tubes

Element 85Kr, also known as Krypton-85, is a radioactive isotope of the noble gas krypton. It is a rare and unique element that is primarily used in the fields of nuclear medicine, industrial radiography, and leak detection.

One of the most outstanding properties of 85Kr is its ability to emit gamma radiation, which makes it a valuable tool for medical imaging and radiation therapy. In particular, it is used to diagnose and treat lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Its ability to penetrate dense materials also makes it useful in industrial radiography, where it is used to inspect welds, pipes, and other structures for flaws or defects.

The production of 85Kr occurs naturally as a result of the nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium in nuclear reactors. However, it can also be produced artificially through the irradiation of stable krypton-84 with neutrons. This production process is known as neutron activation and is commonly used in the production of medical isotopes.

Interestingly, 85Kr has also been used in atmospheric research as a tracer for studying air circulation patterns and climate change. Due to its long half-life of 10.8 years, it can be detected in air samples for several decades, making it a useful tool for studying long-term atmospheric processes.

Another interesting fact about 85Kr is that it was one of the isotopes released into the atmosphere during the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Its presence in the environment has since been used as a marker for the event and for studying the dispersal of radioactive particles in the atmosphere.

In conclusion, element 85Kr is a fascinating and versatile element with a wide range of applications in various fields. Its unique properties and production process make it an important tool for medical, industrial, and environmental research.