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Homework Help: Decay chain (Bi -> Po -> Pb)

  1. Dec 1, 2009 #1
    Hi I'm trying to do a question on nuclear decay chains. The question is:

    Bi-210 decays to Po-210 by beta decay (half life = 7.2 days), and this decays by alpha decay to Pb-208 (half life = 200 decays). If A substance is initially pure Bi-210, when does the alpha emmision peak?

    So far Ive got
    Bi(0)=1, Po(0)=Pb(0)=o

    Bi(t) = Bi(0)exp(-Lt)
    (L being the decay constant, t_1/2 = ln(2)/L)

    dPo(t)/dt = LBi(t) -L'Po(t)

    dPo(t)/dt = L(Bi(0)exp(-Lt)) -L'Po(t)

    Obviously I just need to find when Po(t) is at a maximum, to find the corresponding maximum in alpha emmision, but I can't solve for Po(t). (I tryed dPo/dt = 0, but i still don't have an answer for Po(t) )

    can anyone help?
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  2. jcsd
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