1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Calculating 'half-life' *help : /

  1. Jun 6, 2010 #1
    Hello :)

    I came across a question and I haven't been able to solve it so far. It would be great if maybe someone could give me a few tips.

    Here is the question:

    Measurements of the radioactivity of a certain isotope tell you that the decay rate
    decreases from 8305 decays per minute to 3070 decays per minute over a period of 5.00

    What is the half-life T1/2 of this isotope?

    How can I get the right answer for this question? I never really worked with those half-life
    questions. I am still interested how it works.

    thanks :)
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Hi MrChaos and welcome to PF. Please observe our rules and use the template for posting requests for help with homework.

    What equation do you know that relates activity to time and half-life>
  4. Jun 6, 2010 #3

    N = N0 e-lambda*t

    i'm not sure if this ones right

    T1/2= ln 2/lambda
  5. Jun 7, 2010 #4
    mission impossible now complete
    on my last attempt i got it right

    ln (R_1/R_2)= lambda*deltat
    ln (8305/3070)= lambda*5days
    0.995180181= lambda*5days
    0.995180181*1/5 = 0.19903636 = lambda

    lambda*T= ln 2= 0.6931
    0.6931/0.19903636= T
    T_1/2= 3.482283978
    = 3.48 days

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - Calculating 'half life' Date
Half life - Calculate the length of time Mar 19, 2017
Calculating the half-life Oct 18, 2015
Calculating half life from experimental data Jun 3, 2015
Calculating half life Dec 4, 2014
Half-life calculations. Mar 20, 2013