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In fact, the chemical techniques pioneered by nuclear chemists have become so important that biologists, geologists, and physicists use nuclear chemistry as ordinary tools of their disciplines.
While the common perception is that nuclear chemistry involves only the study of radioactive nuclei, advances in modern mass spectrometry instrumentation has made chemical studies using stable, nonradioactive isotopes increasingly important.
Nuclear medicine is a rapidly expanding branch of health care that uses short-lived radioactive isotopes to diagnose illnesses and to treat specific diseases.
Cosmogenic nuclides are atoms that are constantly being synthesized from the bombardment of planetary surfaces by cosmic particles (primarily protons ejected from the Sun), and are also considered natural in their origin.Nuclear chemists were involved in the chemical purification of plutonium obtained from uranium targets that had been irradiated in reactors.They also developed chemical separation techniques to isolate radioactive isotopes for industrial and medical uses from the fission products wastes associated with plutonium production for weapons.Nuclear chemistry is the study of the chemical and physical properties of elements as influenced by changes in the structure of the atomic nucleus.Modern nuclear chemistry, sometimes referred to as radiochemistry, has become very interdisciplinary in its applications, ranging from the study of the formation of the elements in the universe to the design of radioactive drugs for diagnostic medicine.
Unable to interpret these findings, Hahn asked Lise Meitner, a physicist and former colleague, to propose an explanation for his observations.