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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Radioactivity and Radiation page 2

The rate at which the atoms are decaying in the sample is called the activity of the sample. The activity is given by the decay constant multiplied by the number of atoms in the sample or


The activity is measured in units of decays per second (dps). It is often expressed in units of Becquerel (Bq) which is given by 1 Bq=1 dps. In the U.S., the unit of Curies (Ci) is also often used. One Ci is equal to 3.7x1010 dps.

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