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# What does a decay curve show?

## What does a decay curve show?

decay curve A graphical representation of the exponential rate at which radioactive disintegration occurs (see RADIOACTIVE DECAY). If half the parent nuclide remains after one time increment, one-quarter will remain after the next (identical) time increment, and so on.

### What does the decay constant show?

Decay constant, proportionality between the size of a population of radioactive atoms and the rate at which the population decreases because of radioactive decay.

#### What is randomness of decay?

Radioactive decay is a random process, which means that it is impossible to predict when a particular radioactive nucleus will decay. It is also spontaneous – you cannot cause or influence the decay.

What does the slope of decay curve indicate?

So when we read the slope on a semilog plot, we need to remember to always take the logarithm of whatever values we read off the vertical axis. The slope of the line on the semilog plot corresponds to the same decay constant k, that we can identify in a normal exponential decay plot.

Is decay constant a probability?

A radioactive nucleus has a certain probability per unit time to decay. The probability to decay/time is termed the “decay constant”, and is given the symbol ╒. The value of the decay constant depends on the nature of the particular decay process.

## Is decay constant constant?

The radioactive decay law states that the probability per unit time that a nucleus will decay is a constant, independent of time. This constant is called the decay constant and is denoted by λ, “lambda”. The radioactive decay of certain number of atoms (mass) is exponential in time.

What causes atoms to be radioactive? Atoms found in nature are either stable or unstable. An atom is stable if the forces among the particles that makeup the nucleus are balanced. An atom is unstable (radioactive) if these forces are unbalanced; if the nucleus has an excess of internal energy.

#### Is particle decay truly random?

Radioactive decay is the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei (nuclides) emit subatomic particles (radiation). This is a random process, i.e. it is impossible to predict the decay of individual atoms.

What does a high decay rate mean?

However, like a typical rate law equation, radioactive decay rate can be integrated to link the concentration of a reactant with time. Also, radioactive decay is an exponential decay function which means the larger the quantity of atoms, the more rapidly the element will decay.

Which is the best description of the decay curve?

decay curve A graphic representation of the rate of decay of a radioactive isotope of an element. Radioactive disintegration is exponential.

## What is the random nature of radioactive decay?

The random nature of radioactive decay The nuclei of radioactive atoms are unstable. They break down and change into a completely different type of atom. This is called radioactive decay.

### Is it possible to predict when an atom will decay?

It is not possible to predict when an individual atom might decay. But it is possible to measure how long it takes for half the nuclei of a piece of radioactive material to decay. This is called the half-life of the radioactive isotope.

#### When does the decay constant go to zero?

If half the parent nuclide remains after one time increment, one-quarter will remain after the next (identical) time increment, and so on. A plot of the surviving parent atoms against time in half-lives (see DECAY CONSTANT) gives a decay curve that approaches the zero line asymptotically. In theory it should never attain zero.