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Half-Life

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The half-life of a radioactive isotope is the amount of time it takes for the isotope to decay so that only half of the original amount of the isotope remains. Half-lives can be measured from smaller than a millionth of a second to more than trillions of years. The shorter the half-life, the more radioactive an isotope is.[1]

Tables

Fraction remaining per half-life elapsed

Half-lives
elapsed
Fraction
remaining
Percentage
of nuclei without
disintegrating
0 1/1 100 %
1 1/2 50 %
2 1/4 25 %
3 1/8 12.5 %
4 1/16 6.25 %
5 1/32 3.125 %
6 1/64 1.562 %
7 1/128 0.781 %
... ... ...
n 1/2n 100/(2n)

Half-life of some radionuclides

Uranium-235 7,038·108 years Uranium-238 4,468·109 years Potassium-40 1,28·109 years
Rubidium-87 4,88·1010 years Calcium-41 1,03·105 years Carbon-14 5760 years
Radium-226 1620 years Cesium-137 30,07 years Bismuth-207 31,55 years
Strontium-90 28,90 years Cobalt-60 5,271 years Cadmium-109 462,6 days
Iodine-131 8,02 days Radon-222 3,82 days Oxygen-15 122 seconds

References

  1. Chemistry:Precision and Design; Verne Biddle and Gregory Parker; p. 395; A Beka Book