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?
  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.