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Think of Carbon 14.The Carbon 14 on the surface of the Earth is almost all generated in the sun and stars and arrives here via solar wind and cosmic rays.
I was confused about the concept of Half life when we study it in radioactive elements. Theoretically, the element can never actually go out of existence if it obeys half life. It just keeps reducing to half after a fixed time. I wanted to know if the dilemma arises when we actually introduce the concept of half life to the element, when in "reality" it can end to nothing anyway. What are your thoughts on this!!
- At the level of individual atoms, eventually you will reach the situation where there is just one non-decayed atom left in the sample (after very many half-lives)- When the averaged equation predicts just 0.01 atoms left, you could say that if you tried this experiment on 100 identical samples, in around 99 of those samples, the last non-decayed atom in the sample would have gone out of existence by now.
You're referring to a rule which strictly applies only to a continuum of matter. However in real life matter is quantized meaning that any quantity of matter is really made of discrete particles. So in real life you will eventually get to the point where there's only one particle left at which time the particle will either decay at any period of time or it won't. If it does decay then all the matter will be gone. If not then wait a longer time and it will either decay or it won't and this repeats forever. In some samples all of it will be gone after a certain finite period.See how that works?