Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Half life problem

  1. Jan 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A radioactive material has a half life of 1550 years. Find the time during which a given amount of this material is reduced to one forth.


    I am really not sure how to do this since we have not covered it in class yet. But, a formula that I have found involves find the k value (whatever that is) of a 1550 half life.

    k=ln2/1550 = 6.65

    Any guidance please?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2009 #2

    jgens

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Are you familiar with the concept of half life?
     
  4. Jan 13, 2009 #3
    Not really. I read that the half life is the time it takes for a material or anything to decay, for example, to half. And two half lives it decays to 25%.

    This makes me think that the answer to my problem is simply 1550 times 2 but it seems is should be more to it.
     
  5. Jan 13, 2009 #4

    jgens

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Your knowledge of half-life suffices for the purposes of the problem and your solution 2(1550) should be correct.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook