First-order reaction

First-order reaction

a reaction the rate of which is proportional to the concentration of the single substance undergoing change; radioactive decay is a first-order process, defined by the equation -(dN/dt)=kN, where N is the number of atoms subject to decay (reaction), t is time, and k is the first-order decay (reaction) constant, i.e., the fraction of all atoms decaying per unit of time.

See: decay constant, order.


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