Radioactive Decay as a Probability Distribution

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Radioactive decay is often described in terms of a probability distribution, since one cannot predict when an individual atom will decay. The probability that particles will disintegrate in the time interval is given by

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],

where is the initial number of nuclei present and is the decay constant characteristic of the radioactive isotope.

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Contributed by: Olexandr Eugene Prokopchenko (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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