Decay Rate Comparison - Maple Help
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Decay Rate Comparison

Main Concept

The decay rate of a radioactive substance is characterized by its half-life (${\mathrm{τ}}_{1/2}$), a quantity that represents the time taken for a given amount of material to decay into half of its initial value. The amount of radioactive substance $N$ left in a sample at time $t$ is given by

,

which means that radioactive substances with big half-life are spent slower than those with small half-life.

The following graph shows a comparison of decay rates of some of the frequently encountered radioactive substances:

 Fluorine-18 synthesized, used as a body tracer in positron emission tomography Cesium-137 product of nuclear weapons and reactors, great health hazard Technetium-99m synthesized, used as a body tracer for gamma cameras Americium-241 present in nuclear waste, used in smoke detectors Radon-222 biggest source of radiation exposure, second most frequent cause of lung cancer Radium-226 highly radioactive, formerly used in luminescent paint, spas, and health products Iodine-125 synthesized, used in radiation cancer treatment Carbon-14 present in organic materials, used in archeology to date organic remains Polonium-210 used in first nuclear weapons, highly toxic to humans Plutonium-239 synthesized, fissile, used in nuclear reactors and weapons Cobalt-57 synthesized, used in radiodiagnosis to detect vitamin B12 deficiency Uranium-234 by-product of uranium enrichment, not fissile Cobalt-60 synthesized, used for radiodiagnosis and sterilization Uranium-235 fissile, used to sustain chain reactions in nuclear power plants and weapons, enrichment methods increase its concentration Strontium-90 present in nuclear fallout and waste, used in bone cancer therapy Uranium-238 most common uranium in nature, not fissile but fissionable by neutron absorption

Select up to three radioactive isotopes, enter the quantity of the radioactive sample, and compare their decay rates.

  Select the reference isotope Fluorine-18Technetium-99mRadon-222Iodine-125Polonium-210Cobalt-57Cobalt-60Strontium-90Cesium-137Americium-241Radium-226Carbon-14Plutonium-239Uranium-234Uranium-235Uranium-238     Select the second isotope NoneFluorine-18Technetium-99mRadon-222Iodine-125Polonium-210Cobalt-57Cobalt-60Strontium-90Cesium-137Americium-241Radium-226Carbon-14Plutonium-239Uranium-234Uranium-235Uranium-238    Select the third isotope NoneFluorine-18Technetium-99mRadon-222Iodine-125Polonium-210Cobalt-57Cobalt-60Strontium-90Cesium-137Americium-241Radium-226Carbon-14Plutonium-239Uranium-234Uranium-235Uranium-238     Specify the amount of radioactive substance   Select time scale -------yearsdayshoursminutes

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