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Author Topic: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?  (Read 4784 times)

Offline Simulated

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How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« on: 21/02/2008 01:08:46 »
Is there anywhere I can practice the outcomes and all that good stuff? I really needa ppracice.
« Last Edit: 08/04/2008 09:05:24 by chris »


 

another_someone

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #1 on: 21/02/2008 01:15:08 »
Practice what?

I assume you are talking about the half lives of radioisotopes, or is there some other half life you are referring to?
 

Offline Simulated

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #2 on: 21/02/2008 01:16:01 »
sorry.

and yea them.
 

another_someone

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #3 on: 21/02/2008 02:35:25 »
So what outcomes are you talking about practising?

Are you thinking of obtaining some short half life radioisotope and measuring the radioactivity over time with a Geiger counter, or something else you are looking for?

In my youth, radium was not that hard to get hold of, but I imagine rules have tightened up about most radioactive isotopes, but that has a half life (for its most common isotope) of over a thousand years, although its primary decay product (Radon) has a half life of about 3 days.

Americanium 241 is available in minute quantities (about 0.2g) in smoke detectors, but that has a half life of 432 years.
 

Offline Simulated

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #4 on: 21/02/2008 13:53:03 »
Say you've got U-238. And then they give you a lot of infomation. And you've gotta find the half life. Let me find my paper and I'll give you an example..
 

Offline Professor Gaarder

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #5 on: 28/02/2008 17:12:23 »
so you are talking about radioactivity . . . I thought so.

unless you have a radiation suit and some good connections in the trade, I doubt you'll be able to practice on anything as unstable as uranium. those who have it keep it away because it is so unstable.

also, americium, not americanium.

radium is also very dangerous, and very common in certain energy-efficient light bulbs. but once again, radiation suit. chemistry is fun. being laid up in a hospital bed recovering from a brain surgery/blood transfusion/ whatever would be required to rid your body of the radiation is not fun.

also, health administrations ask that you avoid taking apart smoke detectors for the same reason as certain mercury-riddled pieces of computer hardware. I don't mean to be a whistle-blower, but unless you have a degree in radioactive chemistry, this would be a serious nono.
 

Offline Anarchistkid

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #6 on: 03/03/2008 02:31:23 »
Well in there are a lot nuclear testing facilities and if you could "acquire" some of the uranium from the shipment vehicles and "acquire" access to the building I'm sure you could work something out you know don't break in or nothing.
 

another_someone

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #7 on: 03/03/2008 04:06:46 »
Well in there are a lot nuclear testing facilities and if you could "acquire" some of the uranium from the shipment vehicles and "acquire" access to the building I'm sure you could work something out you know don't break in or nothing.

238U is actually depleted uranium, so is not commonly used in the nuclear industry (although it is used in fast breeder reactors to create Plutonium) - maybe some military munitions.  It is also not very radioactive, having a half-life of 4.46 billion years (which is why so much of it still remains on this planet - our planet only being about 4.6 billion years old).
 

lyner

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #8 on: 03/03/2008 10:04:21 »
Is there anywhere I can practice the outcomes and all that good stuff? I really needa ppracice.
Why?
What do you need the practice for?
 

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Re: How are radioactive half-lives calculated?
« Reply #8 on: 03/03/2008 10:04:21 »

 

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