In the radiactivity equation A = A0e-ln(2)t/T1/2 How do I get A0? Is that just ln(2)N0/T1/2? What if I don't know the initial number of atoms in the sample? Thanks...
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 Quote by StudioSaturn In the radiactivity equation A = A0e-ln(2)t/T1/2 How do I get A0? Is that just ln(2)N0/T1/2? What if I don't know the initial number of atoms in the sample? Thanks...
If one does not know No at to, one counts at A or N at t1 and t2, and then extrapolate back to to. One would also could also determine the relative amounts of decaying nuclide and daughter. Elements can be identified by chemical analysis, e.g., emission spectroscopy (perhaps with ICP) or mass spectrometry, and radionulides can be identified by characteristic radiation emissions. Usually one does a combination of analyses.
 hmm... Ok so here's the question from my book then. A sample X with Half-life 7.5min is measured from t1 = 3 min to t2=13 min. The total number of counts during those 10min is 34650. They want me to find the activity of the sample at t0=0... Any thoughts? Thanks for your help!

 Quote by StudioSaturn hmm... Ok so here's the question from my book then. A sample X with Half-life 7.5min is measured from t1 = 3 min to t2=13 min. The total number of counts during those 10min is 34650. They want me to find the activity of the sample at t0=0... Any thoughts? Thanks for your help!
If one is given the total counts between two times, then integrates the activity over time, i.e., between t1 and t2

N = $\int_{t_1}^{t_2} A(t) dt$, and one should know the expression for A(t) = λ N(t), and one know the expression for N(t) related to No.

 Quote by StudioSaturn hmm... Ok so here's the question from my book then. A sample X with Half-life 7.5min is measured from t1 = 3 min to t2=13 min. The total number of counts during those 10min is 34650. They want me to find the activity of the sample at t0=0... Any thoughts? Thanks for your help!
Note that in general:

Quantity = Rate X Time

Shorthand,

Q = R t

or, in differential form:

dQ = R dt

And,

Q = Intergral [R dt]

R = A(t)

and you can find Ao.
 Ok, so the A(t2) = A(t1)*e-$\lambda$t2 and solve for A(t1). But what is A(t2)? 34650/10min? Then A(t1) = A(t0)*e1$\lambda$t1 and solve for A(t0) correct?

 Quote by StudioSaturn Ok, so the A(t2) = A(t1)*e-$\lambda$t2 and solve for A(t1). But what is A(t2)? 34650/10min? Then A(t1) = A(t0)*e1$\lambda$t1 and solve for A(t0) correct?
 Quote by Astronuc N = $\int_{t_1}^{t_2} A(t) dt$, and one should know the expression for A(t) = λ N(t), and one know the expression for N(t) related to No.