1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Radioactive Decay - Gaussian or Poisson

  1. Mar 13, 2013 #1
    Radioactive Decay Probability?

    Say you are counting the number of decays and the time of observation is varied. I know that as time increases, the Gaussian Distribution becomes a closer fit to the observed probability than when the time interval takes smaller values because the mean count rate increases, but which is the better fit - Poisson or Gaussian?

    I expect Poisson disttribution to remain the better fit throughout, as in this situation the Gaussian distribution can be derived from the Poisson?

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2013 #2

    haruspex

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Yes, the Poisson will always be the exact fit for this. The Gaussian will never give the right shape for very few events.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Radioactive Decay - Gaussian or Poisson
  1. Radioactive Decay? (Replies: 1)

  2. Radioactive Decay (Replies: 5)

  3. Radioactive decay (Replies: 5)

Loading...