Title: Problems with the uncertainty Budget of Half-life Measurements
Authors: POMME STEFAAN
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC33790
ISBN: 0841239827
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC33790
Type: Articles in books
Abstract: The apparent tendency to underestimate the uncertainty of experimentally determined half-life values of radionuclides is discussed. It is argued that the uncertainty derived from a least-squares analysis of a decay curve is prone to error, as it does no sufficiently account for systematic deviations and medium frequency instabilities. As it is quite common for a series of activity measurement results to be autocorrelated, the prerequisite of randomness of data for common statistical tests to apply is not fulfilled. In this work, an attempt is made to provide a alternative data analysis method that leads to a complete and realistic uncertainty budget. A procedure is presented in which experimental uncertainties are subdivided into categories according to the rate at which they occur; i.e. at a low, medium or high frequency. All uncertainty components should be reported for traceability and evaluation purposes
JRC Institute:Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements

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