Problem: Suppose a person ingests equal amounts of two nuclides, both of which are beta emitters (of roughly equal energy). Nuclide A has a half-life of 8.5 hours and Nuclide B has a half-life of 15.0 hours. Both nuclides are eliminated from the body within 24 hours of ingestion. Which of the two nuclides produces the greater radiation dose?

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FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the nuclide that produces the greater radiation given the half-life of Nuclide A and Nuclide B.


Recall that half-life is the time needed for the amount of a reactant to decrease by 50% or one-half. 


Radioactive/nuclear decay of isotopes follows first-order kineticsThe half-life of a first-order reaction is given by:


t1/2=ln 2k


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Problem Details

Suppose a person ingests equal amounts of two nuclides, both of which are beta emitters (of roughly equal energy). Nuclide A has a half-life of 8.5 hours and Nuclide B has a half-life of 15.0 hours. Both nuclides are eliminated from the body within 24 hours of ingestion. Which of the two nuclides produces the greater radiation dose?