Radioactive dating worksheet
Radioactive isotopes are unstable and undergo spontaneous nuclear reactions, emitting particles and/or wavelike radiation.The decay of any one nucleus cannot be predicted, but alarge group of identical nuclei decay at a predictable rate.
For instance, in fossil one, the students will take 15 divided by 60 and come up with the percentage .25.Next, they will look at the graph of decay and see that when 25% of the parent isotope atoms are left, the isotope has gone through two half-lives.In this way, they get practice reading graphs and using them to understand and interpret data.The atom's nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons, which are much more massive than electrons.When an element has atoms that differ in the number of neutrons, these atoms are called different isotopes of the element.For each bag, count a specific number of "parent isotope" beads of one color and "daughter isotope" beads of another color.
Once you have a set of parent and daughter isotope beads in the bag, fill up the bag with a mixture of all the other colors.
This predictability can be used to estimate the age of materials that contain radioactive isotopes.
Geologic time can be estimated by observing rock sequences and using fossils to correlate the sequences at various locations.
Have the students rotate in groups from station to station until they have figured out the age of all five fossils.
This ratio gives you the percentage of parent isotope atoms left after radioactive decay.
Next, label each bag with a number (1-5), put it at a separate station around the room, and make a sign that identifies the parent isotope type and color, daughter isotope type and color, and half-life.