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Radioactive Decay Lab

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Introduction There are many atomic nuclei which are unstable and so they radiate different emissions. The process by which they decay is called radioactive decay. When there is an abundance of neutrons or protons in the nuclei, then the nuclei will wither emit an alpha particle, a beta particle, or a gamma particle. An alpha particle is a helium nucleus, a beta particle is an electron, and a gamma particle is an electromagnetic wave (Physics 30). ...read more.


A substance with a long half life will decay slowly, while a substance with a short half life will decay rapidly. (Kirk) Every element has its own decay constant ( which is used to find the number of given radioactive particles after a certain time period. The formula used to find the number of particles which are undergoing radioactive decay after a certain time is: where is the initial number of particles, is the decay constant, and t is the time elapsed. ...read more.


15.5 14.8 12000 8.5 15.5 12.0 13000 5.5 13.5 9.5 14000 3.5 10.5 7.0 15000 3.5 8.0 5.8 Data Processing Calculations Calculating Half Life # of Molecules Time (s) 40 5200 20 9000 # of Molecules Time (s) 80 1600 40 5200 Average Half Life=time needed for # of molecules to half Half Life 1-3800s Half Life 2-3600s Therefore average half life= Calculating Decay Constant LOBF Therefore Transformed Graph Therefore, the slope represents which is the decay constant, and the intercept is the , which is the initial number of particles. ...read more.

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