(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Hi!

I'm stuck on this one too.

"A rock contains the radioactive isotope Rb-87. A piece of this rock contained 2,05*10^20 Rb-87 atoms and 8,25*10^20 decay products per kg. The half-life of Rb-87 is 47*10^9 years. How old is the rock?"

2. Relevant equations

[tex]N(t)=N_0(\frac{1}{2})^{t/T_{1/2}} [/tex]

3. The attempt at a solution

No nuclei (or atoms) disappear, they only decay. Therefore, the initial number of Rb-87 atoms must have been 2,05*10^20+8,25*10^20 per kg. Let's assume that we have a sample of 1 kg (the mass will change with decay, but not the number of atoms, so it doesn't matter).

Now, let x be its age. Then we can write

2,05*10^20=(2,05*10^20+8,25*10^20)(1/2)^(t/T_{1/2}) which gives us that x is approximately 22,9*10^9 years. However, in the key it says 1,7*10^9 years. What's wrong here?

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

2. Relevant equations

3. The attempt at a solution

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Homework Help: Radioactivity 2

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**