United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
Home > NRC Library > Basic References > Glossary > Half-life (radiological)

Half-life (radiological)

The time required for half the atoms of a particular radioisotope to decay into another isotope. A specific half-life is a characteristic property of each radioisotope. Measured half-lives range from millionths of a second to billions of years, depending on the stability of the nucleus. Radiological half-life is related to, but different from, the biological half-life and the effective half-life.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 29, 2020