P2 6.5 Half-Life

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  • Half-Life
    • Radioactivity can be measured using the count rate from it
    • The radioactivity of a sample decreases over time
      • How quickly the count rate falls to nearly zero depends on the isotope
      • Some take a few minutes, whilst others take millions of years
    • We use the idea of half-life to measure how quickly the radioactivity decreases
      • It is the time taken for the count rate from the original isotope to fall to half its initial value
      • It can also be described as the time it takes for the number of unstable nuclei in a sample to halve
    • The half-life is the same for any sample of a particular isotope


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