Which of the following is a use of
nuclear radiation that does not require increasing the temperatures of
materials? (A) Generating electricity, (B)
producing mutations in cells, (C) heating objects while manufacturing them.
Let’s first recall that nuclear
radiation consists of particles and electromagnetic waves that are emitted from an
unstable atomic nucleus when it decays. Nuclear radiation has many
applications from medical imaging, to farming, to electricity generation and
manufacturing. All these applications of nuclear
radiation depend on the fact that nuclear radiation transfers energy to objects that
it comes into contact with. This energy can sometimes go
towards increasing the thermal energy of the objects.
In a nuclear power plant,
increasing the thermal energy of water makes the water boil, and the resulting steam
is used to produce electricity. In some industrial applications,
the thermal energy of objects is increased as a part of the process of manufacturing
these objects. In both these cases, the objects
that nuclear radiation comes into contact with increase in temperature. This means that both option (A) and
option (C) are uses of nuclear radiation that do require increasing the temperature
Option (B), producing mutations,
does not require increasing the temperature of the DNA of a cell. The particles and waves that
nuclear radiation consists of damage the DNA in a cell by ways that do not require
the DNA to increase in temperature. In fact, increasing the temperature
of a cell will probably not lead to mutation occurring.
So, the correct answer is option
(B). There’s no temperature increase of
materials required for producing mutations in cells.