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Radioactive Decay

Radioactive Decay

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Radioactive Decay

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  1. Radioactive Decay

  2. Radioactive materials decay from the “Parent” material into the “Daughter Product”. Daughter Product Original “Parent” Material

  3. You’ll never know which atoms will decay... (16 atoms)

  4. … or when ...

  5. But one thing we do know...

  6. ...is that it always takes the same amount of time for half to disappear. (8 atoms)

  7. Each half-life, the amount of atoms gets cut in half.

  8. One half-life.

  9. Two half-lives.

  10. Three half-lives.

  11. Four half-lives.

  12. Don’t worry about the last atom. You start with so many trillions that you never really get there. (It will just decay and then they’re all gone.)

  13. Since you don’t know how many atoms you started with, a ratio between parent to daughter will tell you how many half-lives have gone by. 100% parent 0% daughter 0 half lives

  14. One half-life. 50% parent 50% daughter 1 half-life

  15. Two half-lives. 25% parent 75% daughter 2 half-lives

  16. Three half-lives. 12.5% parent 87.5% daughter 3 half-lives

  17. Four half-lives. 6.25% parent 93.75% daughter 4 half-lives