Online Chemistry Labs | Learning Objectives


This experiment requires the student to obtain lifetime data for two elements using neutron activation analysis in a simulated nuclear reactor. Samples containing Al and F are irradiated for a time, and then radioactive decay of 28Al or 20F is monitored. The exponential decay curves are linearized to obtain lifetimes. Six trials are averaged due to the significant noise in the signals, and standard deviations calculated to allow statistical validation of the values. Additional lifetime problems are presented to the student.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with the experimental apparatus involved in performing neutron activation analysis and manipulate the samples into and out of the region of activation.
  2. Be able to derive lifetime data from an experiment that exhibits significant noise in the signal.
  3. Be able to evaluate the statistical treatment of the results.
  4. Be able to answer problems dealing with radioactive decay lifetimes.