Intro Template

Branching Decays

Rate 1-> 2 =      Rate 1 ->3 =

An isotope may be subject to more than one decay process characterized by different decay rates.  This section will examine a case in which two decay processes are possible.

Section 4 Exercises:

  1. Is the number of nuclei a constant?  If so, what is it?
  2. The decay of the parent is exponential.  What is the decay rate of the parent?
  3. What are the decay rates associated with Processes 1 & 2?  (Hint: Refer to Section 1, Exercise 3.)
  4. Does the sum of the decay rates for the two processes equal the decay rate of the parent? 
  5. For times greater than several half-lives of these processes, the values of N2 and N3 are constants.  Write an expression for N2 and N3 in terms of N1 and the appropriate decay rate.