Noncharacteristic half-lives in radioactive decay

Alvaro Corral, Francesc Font, Juan Camacho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Half-lives of radionuclides span more than 50 orders of magnitude. We characterize the probability distribution of this broad-range data set at the same time that we explore a method for fitting power laws and testing goodness-of-fit. It is found that the procedure proposed recently by Clauset does not perform well as it rejects the power-law hypothesis even for power-law synthetic data. In contrast, we establish the existence of a power-law exponent with a value around 1.1 for the half-life density, which can be explained by the sharp relationship between decay rate and released energy, for different disintegration types. For the case of alpha emission, this relationship constitutes an original mechanism of power-law generation. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number066103
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2011


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