Radioactive isotope dating definition
Include your ideas about how its half-life of 28.8 years would be important.
Suggest ways that government agencies, such as your state's department of health, might test for strontium-90.
Tell students: "We measure our rate of speed in a car in miles per hour.
This method of measuring a rate won't work for radioactive decay.
At the end of the lab, give them the opportunity to revisit these questions and change or justify their answers.
Procedure: Give each student a copy of the laboratory procedure called Radioactive Decay: A Sweet Simulation of Half-life.
To help students understand the history of radioactivity, have them go to Radioactivity: Historical Figures, on the Access Excellence Classic Collection site, to read about the contributions of Wilhelm Roentgen, Antoine Becquerel, Marie and Pierre Curie, and Ernest Rutherford.
This lesson can be done in two, 45-minute class periods.
To demonstrate that the rates of decay of unstable nuclei can be measured, that the exact time that a certain nucleus will decay cannot be predicted, and that it takes a very large number of nuclei to find the rate of decay.
This is the second lesson in a three-lesson series about isotopes, radioactive decay, and the nucleus.
We know that radioactive substances disintegrate at a known rate, however. It is the length of time required for the disintegration of one-half of a given number of nuclei of a radioactive element. Suppose we have 100 nuclei of a radioactive isotope.
After one half-life, half of the nuclei will have disintegrated, leaving 50 nuclei." Have students write their answers to these questions in their science journals.
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You may group them in any size, but working in pairs is optimal for this exercise.