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



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


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



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