Problem: In how many days will a sample of polonium 210 with a half-life of 138 days decay to one-fourth of the original amount?

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to time it would take for a polonium-210 to decay to one-fourth the original amount.


Recall that radioactive/nuclear decay of isotopes follows first-order kinetics, and the integrated rate law for first-order reactions is:


lnNt=-kt+lnN0


where:

[N]t = concentration at time t

k = decay constant

t = time

[N]0 = initial concentration. 


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Problem Details

In how many days will a sample of polonium 210 with a half-life of 138 days decay to one-fourth of the original amount?

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the First Order Half Life concept. You can view video lessons to learn First Order Half Life. Or if you need more First Order Half Life practice, you can also practice First Order Half Life practice problems.