1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    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!

Half-life of tritium

  1. Jan 15, 2007 #1
    Question: The half-life of tritium (hydrogen-3) is 12.3 yr. If 46.9 mg of tritium is released from a nuclear power plant during the course of an accident, what mass of this nuclide will remain after 24.6 yr? (Significant figures are important)

    My answer: 11.7 mg. I came to this answer by recognizing that 24.6 yr is the duration of 2 half lives. Thus, 1/4 of the original amount will be present. Dividing 46.9 by 4 yields 11.725; however, I must use the correct number of significant figures (3, I believe), so my final answer is 11.7 mg.

    Please tell me what I am doing wrong, because my answer has been marked wrong and I cannot figure out why.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Your answer is correct. I would also try 11.65mg - just in case they weren't being careful with sig figs.
  4. Jan 15, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Moved to homework forum.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Half-life of tritium
  1. Half life (Replies: 1)

  2. Half Life Help (Replies: 6)

  3. Rate Law and Half life (Replies: 12)