The Effects of Radioactive Decay on Atom Numbers,The Effects of Radioactive Decay on Atom Numbers

The Effects of Radioactive Decay on Atom Numbers

Radioactive decay is a process in which unstable atoms emit particles or energy in order to reach a more stable state. This process is also known as nuclear decay, or radioactivity, and is often represented as a half-life, which is the amount of time taken for a quantity of a radioactive substance to decay to half its initial value (“Half-Life of Radioactive Isotopes,” n.d.). In this paper, we will look at how the number of atoms present changes over time when radioactive decay begins with 400,000 parent atoms. When radioactive decay begins, the number of parent atoms is 400,000. During the first half-life, the number of parent atoms is reduced to 200,000. During the second half-life, the number of parent atoms is reduced to 100,000. Lastly, during the third half-life, the number of parent atoms is reduced to 50,000 (“Radioactivity and Nuclear Reactions,” 2017). After three half-lives, then, the number of parent atoms left would be 50,000. Clearly, the number of parent atoms decreases significantly over time when radioactive decay begins with 400,000… Cont…

 

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