On the problem of underestimation of the uncertainty of half-life data

NUCL 42

Stefaan Pommé, stefaan.pomme@cec.eu.int, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, EC-JRC-IRMM, Retieseweg 111, B-2440 Geel, Belgium
The least-squares method is commonly used to fit an exponential function to measured activity data points in order to derive a half-life value. Experience has shown that the associated uncertainty is unrealisticly low in the majority of cases. The fitting methods are presented together with the uncertainty propagation.