Decay Series of Polonium 218

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Decay Series of Polonium 218

The table below contains the decay series of Polonium 218. Fill in the right hand column to indicate the type of radioactive decay of each isotope.


Half Life

Type of Decay (α or β)

Po 218

3.1 min

Pb 214


Bi 214

20 min

Po 214


Pb 210

22 years

Bi 210

5 Days


140 days

Pb 206


Which of the daughter isotopes of Po 218 decays the quickest?

A chunk of Po 218 has been placed in a box. If you were to analyse the sample a few days later, what would be its likely makeup?

On the graph below draw a line that illustrated the decay of Po 218.

On the same set of axes draw a graph of the amount of Pb 214 that is created by this process.

The graph of the amount of Pb 214 is actually a little more complex as it starts to decay as soon as it is created.

Shown here are the relative amounts of Po 218, Pb 214, Bi 214 and Pb 210.

Identify which trace belongs to each of the four isotopes.

Po 214, which is the daughter isotope of Bi 214 has not been shown in this diagram. Suggest a reason why it has been omitted.

During which time period is more Pb 214 created than decays.

At what time is the rate of creation and decay of Bi 214 about equal?

Why does the graph of Pb 210 only increase?

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