If the mass of a radioactive substance is 8 grams and it has a half life of 4 hours, how much mass remains after 8 hours?

1 Answer
Nov 25, 2017

2 grams.


A half life is defined as the period of time it takes for half of a radioactive substance to decay. Thus, if a substance has a half life of 4 hours, it will take 4 hours for half of the substance to decay.

Using this, we know there are 2 half lives of the substance in 8 hours and we have to divide the original mass of the substance in half twice:

#8/2=4# and #4/2=2#

There is a more versatile equation to solve problems like these, but since this problem gave us nice whole numbers to work with this method is just fine.