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Half-Life Decay formula and its characteristics

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 1

The Half-Life decay is associated with the radioactivity of metals. This mainly refers to the quantity of time which is required for the half of the total or original isotope for getting decay. The radioactive decay is depicted to be a disintegration regarding an unstable atom that accompanies the radiation of emission. In regards an atom wants to be stable the decay procedure is followed by a radioisotope atom. In this process the radiation is emitted only once. Several disintegration steps as well as radiations are given in each step to carry out the decaying procedure. However, when the atom reaches to a position where its configuration is stable it is not exposed to any more radiation. The decay regarding the radioactive elements is set to occur at fixed rates. The half-life regarding an isotope is said to be the time that is required for the one half regarding the volume of the material that is unstable for degrading it to a more stable material.

For example, if the half-life of a 50.0 gram sample is 3 years, then in 3 years only 25 grams would remain. During the next 3 years, 12.5 grams would remain and so on.

Nt = mass of radioactive material at time interval (t)

N0 = mass of the original amount of radioactive material

k = decay constant

t = time interval (t1/2 for the half-life)

Moreover, another example that is stated below:

If the half-life of 100.0 grams of a radioactive isotope is 8 years, how many grams will remain in 32 years?

The answer in accordance to the above stated question, there is no need to solve for the radioactive decay equation. If 32 ÷ 8 = 4, then the material will go through 4 half-lives.

Moreover, the half-life of certain radioisotopes are very useful to remember. This allows the individuals to determine the age regarding the old artefacts or antiques. Many of the scientists uses the half-life of Carbon-14 atom for determining the age of the organic objects that are approximately 40,000 years old. By the determination of the quantity of the carbon 14 that has been trans mutated, this helps the scientists to calculate the approximate age of the object that is intended to determine the age. This overall procedure is stated as Carbon Dating. Isotopes that possess longer half-lives like Uranium-238 is even used to depict the ages of much older objects.

Within the field of testing the non-destructive radiographers the information regarding the half-life is very important. A radiographer is depicted to be a person that works with the different radioisotopes for determining the specific half-life. The quantity of the radiation or the source produced within the camera in those case that the film is to be exposed properly. After the individual half-life of a specified particular radioisotope, only the half of the original number of the atoms from the overall atom remains to be active. In addition to this there is another significant way for looking at the intensity of the radiation is cut into half, the primary source will possess the other half as many curies that it originally had. It is also significantly important for recognizing the intensity of radiation that might decrease due to the long age but not due to the penetration of the energy regarding the radiation. However, the energy of the radiation regarding a given isotope is depicted to be constant as per the overall life of the specified isotope.

The primary characteristics of the half life cycle of the radioactive materials are depicted as follows:

  1. The primary half-life regarding the radioisotopes varies from different seconds to a maximum of billions of years.
  2. The procedure of Carbon-dating generally uses the half-life regarding the Carbon-14 in regards to search the approximate age of an antique or old object that is 40,000 years old or even younger.
  3. The main purpose of the radiographers uses the information of half-life to necessarily  make adjustments within the film and its exposure time because of the changes in the volume of the radiation intensity that occurs simultaneously with the procedure of the radioisotopes degrade.

The Half-Life of some important and significant radioisotopes are stated in the following table:



Polonium - 215

0.0018 seconds

Bismuth - 212

60.5 seconds

Sodium - 24

15 hours

Iodine - 131

8.07 days

Cobalt - 60

5.26 years

Radium - 226

1600 years

Uranium - 238

4.5 billion years


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