For example, in 1991, two hikers discovered a mummified man, preserved for centuries in the ice on an alpine mountain.Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.They are particularly useful where process optimization can bring material benefits, such as in the transport of sediments.Radiotracers are also used in the oil and gas industry to help determine the extent of oil fields.These plants may give better yields resulting in more food or fibre at less expense.
Industrial gamma radiography exploits the ability of various types of radiation to penetrate materials to different extents.
Historians can tell what cultures thrived in different regions and when they disintegrated.
Anthropologists can describe a people’s physical character, culture, and environmental and social relations.
The results showed that Ötzi died over 5000 years ago, sometime between 33 BC. Uranium has a very long half-life and so by measuring how much uranium is left in a rock its approximate age can be worked out.
The attributes of naturally decaying atoms, known as radioisotopes, give rise to their multiple applications across many aspects of modern day life (see also information paper on The Many Uses of Nuclear Technology).