Predicted parameter uncertainties for least squares analysis of a single exponential decay with a constant background rate
Rodeback, George Wayne
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The decay constant and initial activity for a single exponential decay, together with a constant background activity, are assumed to be the three adjustable parameters for a least squares fit of experimental data. The expected variances of these three parameters are predicted mathematically for the general case where it is assumed that experimental decay counts with inherent statistical uncertainty are collected in successive equal time intervals of negligible uncertainty. Comparisons of a parameter uncertainty with respect to the time interval, number of intervals and background activity are based on a fixed 'confidence interval' for the parameter. Assumed background rates are expressed as fractions of the initial decay activity. The results can be simply applied to arbitrarily assumed values of decay constant and initial activity
NPS Report NumberNPS-61RK71111A
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