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In this analogy, the apples would represent radioactive, or parent, atoms, while the oranges would represent the atoms formed, the so-called daughters.Pursuing this analogy further, one would expect that a new basket of apples would have no oranges but that an older one would have many.In short, the process of radioactive decay is immutable under all known conditions.Although it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will change, given a sufficient number of atoms, the rate of their decay is found to be constant.The situation is analogous to the death rate among human populations insured by an insurance company.Even though it is impossible to predict when a given policyholder will die, the company can count on paying off a certain number of beneficiaries every month.Radioactive decay can be observed in the laboratory by either of two means: (1) a radiation counter (parent atoms.

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This follows because, as each parent atom loses its identity with time, it reappears as a daughter atom. In short, one need only measure the ratio of the number of radioactive parent and daughter atoms present, and the time elapsed since the mineral or rock formed can be calculated, provided of course that the decay rate is known. The measurement of the daughter-to-parent ratio must be accurate because uncertainty in this ratio contributes directly to uncertainty in the age.

For a single element, these atoms are called isotopes.

Because isotopes differ in mass, their relative abundance can be determined if the masses are separated in a mass spectrometer (see below Use of mass spectrometers).

Half-life is defined as the time period that must elapse in order to halve the initial number of radioactive atoms.

The half-life and the decay constant are inversely proportional because rapidly decaying radioisotopes have a high decay constant but a short half-life.

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On my first date with my wife, I schedule a one hour date at a diner.

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Horse and pony rentals are available and there are equestrian trails on which to ride.