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Three State Nuclear Decay Model
written by Wolfgang Christian
The Three State Nuclear Decay model extends the Two State Nuclear Decay model (also available through OSP and ComPADRE) to simulate the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei in which the parent nucleus first decays into an intermediate state before decaying into a stable state. Although the decay of both the parent and intermediate nucleus (radionuclides) is spontaneous and unpredictable, the probability of decay of each  radionuclide is constant and is usually known.  The model displays a color-coded sample with N1 parent nuclides, N2 intermediate state nuclides, and N3 stable state nuclides.  Users can set the initial numbers N1 and N2, the decay the decay constants k1 and k2, and the time interval between measurements Δt before the simulation is run. The simulation counts the number of decay events and stops when all nuclides are in the stable state.
Check boxes display a plot and a table showing the time evolution of each state as well as the number of decay events in each time interval.  The data plot allows users to compare the data generated by the random decay model with a differential equation-based model.

The Three State Nuclear Decay model was developed using the Easy Java Simulations (Ejs) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_nuclear_ThreeStateNuclearDecay.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java.
1 source code document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Modern Physics
- Nuclear Physics
= Radioactivity
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Probability
= Poisson Distribution
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
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Access Rights:
Free access
Program released under GNU-GPL. Narrative is copyrighted.
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license.
Rights Holder:
Wolfgang Christian
exponential decay, half-life, radioactive decay, statistical physics
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created January 7, 2011 by Wolfgang Christian
Record Updated:
June 12, 2014 by Andreu Glasmann
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 8, 2011
Other Collections:

is there an EJSS version of the evolution page?

Author: lookang
Posted: October 15, 2015 at 4:45AM
Source: The Open Source Physics collection

dear professor wolfgang,

i was unable to work the old EJS evolution page intot he new EJSS evolution page using this model.

is there an easier way to implement a nuclear decay evolution page model in EJSS?

i have made some changes here

» reply

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ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
W. Christian, Computer Program THREE STATE NUCLEAR DECAY MODEL, Version 1.0 (2011), WWW Document, (
W. Christian, Computer Program THREE STATE NUCLEAR DECAY MODEL, Version 1.0 (2011), <>.
APA Format
Christian, W. (2011). Three State Nuclear Decay Model (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved January 18, 2017, from
Chicago Format
Christian, Wolfgang. "Three State Nuclear Decay Model." Version 1.0. (accessed 18 January 2017).
MLA Format
Christian, Wolfgang. Three State Nuclear Decay Model. Vers. 1.0. Computer software. 2011. Java 1.5. 18 Jan. 2017 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Wolfgang Christian", Title = {Three State Nuclear Decay Model}, Month = {January}, Year = {2011} }
Refer Export Format

%A Wolfgang Christian
%T Three State Nuclear Decay Model
%D January 8, 2011
%O 1.0
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program
%A Christian, Wolfgang
%D January 8, 2011
%T Three State Nuclear Decay Model
%7 1.0
%8 January 8, 2011

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

Three State Nuclear Decay Model:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Three State Nuckear Decay Model.

relation by Wolfgang Christian
Is Based On Two State Nuclear Decay Model

The three-state model is an extension of the two-state nuclear decay model.

relation by Bruce Mason

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