Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 30 - Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity - Misconceptual Questions: 7

Answer

Choice D.

Work Step by Step

Radioactive decay is an exponential process. After one half-life, 10 years, we are down to one-half the original amount. After two half-lives, 20 years, we are down to one-quarter the original amount. After three half-lives, 30 years, we are down to one-eighth the original amount. After four half-lives, 40 years, we are down to one-sixteenth the original amount. It cannot be determined when the very last nucleus decays, but it’ll be a lot longer than 40 years for any realistically-sized sample.
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