A cyclotron is sometimes used for carbon dating

Samples are usually analyzed as organic solutions consequently materials of interest (e.g.soils, sediments, tissues etc.) need to be solvent extracted and the extract subjected to various 'wet chemical' techniques before GC/MS analysis is possible.In some cases radiation can be used to treat diseased organs, or tumours.Five Nobel Laureates have been closely involved with the use of radioactive tracers in medicine.Astatine was made by bombarding bismuth-209 with alpha particles in a cyclotron (particle accelerator) to produce, after emission of two neutrons, astatine-211.The scientists found that the isotope they created was radioactive, so they named the element using the Greek ‘astatos’ meaning unstable.Copper appears in the periodic table at the top of Group 11 above silver and gold. It is malleable, ductile, and a good conductor of heat and electricity (second only to silver in electrical conductivity). Copper metal is not particularly reactive and indeed is found as the free metal ("native") on occasion.

The element to fill this space became known as eka-iodine.The sample solution is injected into the GC inlet where it is vaporized and swept onto a chromatographic column by the carrier gas (usually helium).The sample flows through the column and the compounds comprising the mixture of interest are separated by virtue of their relative interaction with the coating of the column (stationary phase) and the carrier gas (mobile phase).This alerted scientists to the possibility that if they looked, they could find the element that would fit into this space.Many tried to find the new element in nature, but without success.

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