Alpha Particle Emissions

Description

Americium (atomic number 95) is a synthetic element that is produced as a byproduct in certain nuclear reactions. It was first produced by Glenn Seaborg and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. The isotope americium-241 now has commercial applications in the ionization chambers of smoke detectors. It decays by emission of alpha particles and has a half-life of 432.2 years.

A sample of Americium. Photograph by Bionerd.
Americium

In 1966, the statistician J. Berkson studied alpha particle emissions from a sample of americium-241. The table below is a frequency distribution for the number of emissions in 1207 ten-second intervals, and is adapted from data in Rice.

Emissions in 10 second intervals
Number of emissions Frequency
0 1
1 4
2 13
3 28
4 56
5 105
6 126
7 146
8 164
9 161
10 123
11 101
12 74
13 53
14 23
15 15
16 9
17 3
18 1
19 1
total 1207

Standard Formats

The links below gives the data set in tab-separated text format and comma-separated text format. These are standard formats that can be imported into most statistical and spreadsheet software.

Sources

  1. Examination of randomness in alpha particle emissions. J Berkson
  2. Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis. John A Rice
  3. Wikipedia