Uncertainty in radioactive half-life experiment


by ZedCar
Tags: experiment, halflife, radioactive, uncertainty
ZedCar
ZedCar is offline
#1
Apr5-12, 09:50 AM
P: 340
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


I have conducted an experiment and found the gradient λ of a graph to be (2.15x10^-4) +- (0.15x10^-4)

The graph being ln(A) i.e. the number of disintegrations/unit time - dN/dt against time t

The half-life is
T(1/2) = ln(2)/λ = -3223.9

How do I find the uncertainty in the half-life?

Thank you!


2. Relevant equations



3. The attempt at a solution
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ZedCar
ZedCar is offline
#2
Apr5-12, 11:11 AM
P: 340
I now realise that the % uncertainty in λ is 0.15/2.15 = 0.069

Therefore multiply T(1/2) of -3223.9 by 0.069 which equals 224.9, which is the uncertainty.

3223.9 224.9

How do I correct this to take account of significant figures?


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